JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For defensive end Demarcus Walker from Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood, his junior season has provided an opportunity for him to move from defensive tackle to his natural position of defensive end. He says the move has paid off and he is encouraged by the way he is developing at the spot.
"The season has been going pretty good for me," Walker said. "This isn't my first season playing defensive end, but it was nice to get back to it. I feel like I am making progress. I am doing better watching the ball, getting to the quarterback quicker and fighting off blocks."
Walker showed flashes of his ability at defensive end throughout the summer camp circuit. The 6-foot-4, 255-pound defensive lineman began the camp circuit when he traveled to Florida International.
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"I didn't know much about them when I went down there but I got a call from (Sandalwood) Coach Geis and he asked me if I wanted to go down there so we just hopped into the car and went down there," Walker said. "They have offered me, so they are still in the picture."
His next camp stop was in the Palmetto State at Clemson.
"I learned a lot," Walker said of Clemson. "It is a small town, so I could fit very good into it. They have excellent possibilities. I have a good bond with the coaching staff there. I talk a lot with the defensive ends coach, Coach (Marion) Hobby, and Coach (Jeff) Scott. So I have built a lot of trust with them."
With regards to Clemson, Walker said that it is fair to say they are the staff that consistently shows him the most interest.
"I get a lot of handwritten letters from them saying they want me to be their first commit," Walker said. "They are talking really good."
He also made his way to Colombia, South Carolina, where he learned more about the Gamecocks.
"It was a real good time at South Carolina," Walker said. "It was really hot. To me, it wasn't so much a camp as about conditioning for me. We had fun though. Got a chance to take a tour and the facilities were okay. I had a chance to meet with Steve Spurrier. I had a good time with their defensive ends coach (Brad Lawing)."
Walker stays in regular contact with South Carolina's Jacksonville area recruiter, Steve Spurrier Jr..
The Sunshine State prospect then returned to his home state to participate in a pair of camps on college campuses. His first camp stop in Florida was to work with the Seminoles.
"I just kind of showed up to that one, didn't really talk to their coaches and tell them I was coming," Walker said. "I stepped into the building and they showed me a lot of attention. They took me around the campus and I met all of the coaches, I met Coach Jimbo Fisher, Coach D.J. Eliot, and Coach Odell Haggins and they treated me like family up there. It is kind of close to home, so I like that about it. I also enjoyed the camp, doing different drills, and learning different technique."
Florida State's defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins has dropped in on him during the season and that he continues to hear from Florida State.
His final camp stop of the summer was in Gainesville, at the Gator's Friday Night Lights event.
"That was exciting, getting a chance to play on the game field," Walker said. "You got to work where players played who are legends. It was a pretty good time. There was good competition out there. I felt the way that I played, no one could compete against me. I got a chance to meet Coach Will Muschamp and Coach Dan Quinn. It was real good."
Since that camp visit, Walker has returned to 'The Swamp' to attend the Alabama game. During that visit, he spent a lot of time with his area recruiter.
"When we were there for the Alabama game, Coach Quinn came to our table where we were eating and spoke to me and my dad about everything," Walker said. "He just told me they are very interested in me."
As for the game itself, Walker was impressed by the gameday atmosphere.
"It was a pretty exciting game, very loud," Walker said. "I was pretty shocked about the first play of the game when they scored. Their crowd was just excitiing. There were people who I didn't even know shaking my hand. It was a pretty good experience."
The only other game that Walker says he has attended this season was at Clemson, when Dabo Swinney's team hosted and defeated Auburn.
"Florida's crowd was loud but Clemson's was loud throughout the whole game," Walker said. "Clemson's fans were nuts throughout the whole game. It was really high intensity. It was just really loud there. I heard that it was loud there, but I was pretty shocked. Throughout the whole game it was loud, even at halftime it was loud there."
At this time, Walker claims offers from Clemson, Florida International, Marshall, South Carolina, and Southern Miss. He is also drawing interest from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami, North Carolina, and others. He is in no rush to make a decision.
"Right now I am just weighing all my options and taking visits," Walker said. "That is about it."
Walker said he may attend Alabama's game when they host LSU. He is also hoping to make additional visits to Clemson, Florida State, and Miami during the remainder of the season.
One additional camp that Walker participated in was hosted by Southern Miss in Jacksonville, Fla. at University Christian School. He has yet to get on campus with the Golden Eagles.