Akron (Ohio) Coventry three-star receiver Jeff Walker admits he's got work to do both on and off the field if he wants to achieve his dreams of playing big-time college football.
The nation's No. 80 receiver is more than talented on the field and has worked hard to get even better in the off-season. Now he's ready for the 2008 kickoff.
"Yeah, I'm really excited," he said. "I think I'll perform really well. Our team is really young, so I don't know what our record is going to be. But I know I'm going to play to my best, and that's all I can do and if I do that, I'll be happy."
"Our record last year was 4-6, which is not very good. We've had quarterbacks problems since I've been there. We had just brought in a first year quarterback to run the spread offense last year. Hopefully this year we can get better. Our league isn't going to be that strong this year, so hopefully with some hard work we'll get there. I know I'll do my part."
He's also working hard to do his part off the field with his academics.
"All the schools are just waiting for my grades," he said. "West Virginia and Illinois are probably my favorites. Cincinnati and Michigan State, they're also some of my favorites. Nate Klatt is one of my friends and he committed to Michigan State. Illinois and Cincinnati send me the most stuff."
Walker has an offer from Bowling Green, but more offers definitely would be on the table had he already have his academic situation in order.
"The only schools I've visited out of top four is Illinois for the Wisconsin game from last season that they invited me to," he said. "West Virginia's offensive coordinator got me more interested in them, too.
"He came in and visited my school briefly. He seemed the most interested. He wasn't just feeding me. He was trying to get to know me and getting me to campus, and I had a really good connection with him when we talked on the phone."
Walker also admits a slight injury this summer might have also kept some of the schools away from him.
"I actually had a back injury lingering on from the football season," he said. "I was planning on going to my top four camps, but I didn't want to injure myself, and I didn't want it to hurt my chances with those teams. I just wanted to take care of my back and get it all rested for the season and hopefully my work during my senior season and my film will make up for my lack of camps."
"I'm back to 100 percent now."
And focused on football for now. But he also can't help but think about what's going to happen in the future.
"I've just been really focused in on my season," he said. "I want to visit Illinois again and definitely West Virginia. Cincinnati is not far either, so I'll visit them. I want to take at least three trips, but we'll see."