One of the nation’s top running backs hasn’t gotten around to paring down his lengthy list of schools, but at least two high-profile programs appear to be emerging as potential leaders.
“I don’t have it down to five or anything like that yet,” said Buford (Ga.) tailback Darius Walker. “It’s more like 10 right now. I have Notre Dame, Nebraska, Stanford, Ohio State, Southern California, Maryland, Florida, Arkansas, LSU, Michigan and maybe Georgia Tech. So I guess you could say there are 11.
“But if I had to say right now, today, I would have Notre Dame and Stanford up there high. I really like what coach Willingham did with Notre Dame last year and the direction he’s taking them. I got a chance to talk to him personally this spring, and he really impressed me. Academics is another big thing. That goes for both Notre Dame and Stanford. I like what Stanford has to offer there.”
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Walker (5-10, 197, 4.45), who has a 4.0 GPA and a 970 on the SAT, has scholarship offers from each of the schools on his list. As a junior, he established himself as a top prospect by rushing for 1,986 yards (9.1 average) and 26 touchdowns. He’s rated the No. 18 running back in the nation by Rivals.com.
Asked if he had a timetable in mind for trimming his list of schools, Walker said: “It will probably be sometime in the middle of the season. I’ve been getting a lot of media guides in the mail, which has helped some. I’ll also be watching a lot of games on TV, trying to go to some others.”
His first unofficial visit is slated for Saturday at Auburn as the Tigers take on USC in the season’s first high-profile national matchup.
Buford opens the season next Friday with a game at Central Carrolton.
“My goals are to win a state championship and rush for more than 2,000 yards,” he said. “I came close (to the rushing figure) last season, so that’s definitely a big goal of mine. But more than anything, I just want to lead our team to wins.”