With his junior year just underway, Class of 2016 three-star defensive lineman Malik Walker has big hopes for himself and his team. He also hopes to make strides on the recruiting front.
The 6-foot-1, 260-pounder already has several Big Five offers but said two schools continue to stand out.
"I'm talking to Tennessee the most right now," he said. "I also talk to UCLA quite a bit, me and Coach White have a good relationship."
With the Vols being in regular contact, they have been able to surge to the front for Walker's services.
"I love them," Walker said. "To get a chance to play in front of those fans would be great. Coach Jancek and I talk a lot and they are pretty cool people up there."
Walker has visited Knoxville several times and his planning on being on campus for Sunday's game against Utah State.
"I've been up there plenty of times," he said. "I went up earlier in the summer and stayed the night. I plan on going to their game against Utah State. I'm really excited to be there for a game."
According to Walker, Tennessee believes he still has plenty of room to grow and has a future on the interior of the Vols defense.
"They told me they want to get me a little bit bigger, let me play on the inside and let me bang a little bit," Walker said. "I don't have a preference. I'm just trying to do whatever is best for me and the team and just play ball."
Tennessee's proximity has surely helped them, but Walker said he plans on doing his due diligence when it comes to the Bruins.
"I don't know much about them but I know that they just put Anthony Barr in the NFL in the first round," Walker said. "So I know they're trying to build up a pretty good program."
Walker is hoping to take an unofficial visit to Westwood after his junior season.
"It's kind of far but I plan on going out there sometime next year," he said. "Hopefully we can get it all worked out."
As a sophomore, Walker had 57 tackles, including 13 tackles for loss and eight sacks. He will also visit Georgia on Saturday for the Bulldogs game against Clemson.