The skinny: DeMarcus Walker

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Decision time has come for four-star defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood) as he will announce his college decision at 5 p.m. Friday on ESPNU’s first Recruiting Nation show of the season.

He is expected to pick either Alabama or Florida.

This is not the first time that The 6-foot-3, 276-pound Walker has had a decision scheduled, he was set to announce in April and then again in July and postponed his announcement both times. Before both previous announcements, it was believed to be either the Tide or the Gators and there have been no significant developments to lead us to believe that he is headed to a program other than one of those two. So regardless of any public comments from anyone, it would be an absolute stunner if he committed elsewhere.

We also hear that regardless of which school he picks, do not expect the other to give up on recruiting him until the end.

Rankings and Ratings

Walker is 247Sports’ highest-ranked four-star prospect at No. 26 nationally and the nation’s No. 2 strongside defensive end. He checks in at No. 29 nationally in the 247Composite, which equally weighs recruiting rankings from across the industry, and as the third-ranked player at his position. Numerically, Walker checks in at a 97 in the 247Sports rankings and has a 247Composite rating of 0.9773. He is the No. 6 prospect in the state of Florida according to 247Sports and the No. 8 Florida prospect in the 247Composite.

Timeline

Five significant events

June 13, 2011- First offer in from Clemson after camp
Feb. 18, 2012- Attends Junior Day at Alabama
April 14, 2012- Attends Alabama Spring Game
June 16, 2012- Attends Alabama Camp
June 28, 2012- Visits Florida Unofficially for Friday Night Lights

Link: Walker Player Timeline

Twitter Buzz



Walker has tweeted in recent weeks (follow @LivingLegend_44) that he’s down six pounds to 267- his playing weight goal for this season is 263. He was 276 at The Opening in Beaverton, Ore., the first week of July. ...One week ago, Chris Nee (@CNee247) of 247Sports retweeted Walker saying he had “just gotten off the phone” with Auburn defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder. Auburn and Clemson were in the mix. ...Two days ago, Mike Farrell of Rivals.com (@RivalsMike) tweeted that Walker rose 23 spots in their latest rankings release up to No. 97 overall nationally. ...Florida blog Alligator Army (@AlligatorArmy) on SBNation has conceded Walker to Alabama- commenting “just one more day to wait and be disappointed” on a tweet breaking down Walker’s decision.

Link: Walker Expert Tweets

Scouting Report

Walker is a prospect we love from a projection standpoint. He's a better prospect than player at this point, but is blessed with all of the athletic ability one desires in a 6-foot-3, 276-pound defensive lineman. He's athletic in his stance, shows ideal flexibility, has a quick first step and fires off with low pad level, has flashed the ability to play with powerful arm extension, shows quickness in his reactions, changes direction well for his size and closes on the ball carrier with acceleration. More of a one trick pony as a pass rusher, and will have to develop in that area in terms of pass rush moves to take the next step as a player. We like Walker as a 3-4 end or 4-3 defensive tackle long term. He has the frame to carry 300-pounds, and projects as a plus athlete as an interior player. Has an ideal body type to stack muscle mass/strength, especially in the lower body.


-Gerry Hamilton

Prediction

While this has essentially been a two-team race between Alabama and Florida for about six months now, the Crimson Tide has been considered the favorite to land Walker. The talented jumbo athlete is a good fit in either 3-4 scheme at defensive end and it is really just a matter of staying close to home or heading to Tuscaloosa. Alabama assistant Jeremy Pruitt, 247Sports’ National Recruiter of the Year for the 2012 cycle, is recruiting Walker for the Tide and has been one of the most prolific recruiters along the I-10 corridor between Jacksonville, Fla., and Mobile, Ala., the past 2-3 cycles, landing a slew of prospects including receiver Chris Black and safety/linebacker Eddie Williams out of the Sunshine State in the last cycle. The Gators have made things interesting here on the eve of Walker’s announcement, though, and there are certain family considerations that may work in favor of Florida. At last check, neither school knew for sure, but confidence among insiders and sources at Alabama were more confident than those in Gainesville. The prediction here is the Tide. PICK- Alabama 70 percent

-JC Shurburtt

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