Ranking the Contenders: Four-star OL Bram Walden
Bram Walden recently announced a top 12 and the four-star offensive tackle had planned to take a bunch of visits through April.
The coronavirus travel ban put a stop to all that. So the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro standout is biding his time and waiting patiently until he can get back on the road and see some of his favorites.
Earlier this offseason, Walden said he was in no rush to make a commitment and that it was always his dream to announce at an all-star event. That could certainly still be the idea since he won’t have much time later in this offseason to see a lot of schools.
Below, we take a shot at ranking his top contenders.
CLASS OF 2022: Top 100
The Ducks were already one of the frontrunners in Walden’s recruitment and it only helped Oregon even more when former Scottsdale Saguaro teammate and fellow offensive lineman Jaylan Jeffers signed there last recruiting cycle. Walden played as the opposite offensive tackle to Jeffers and they are definitely close, so that could be really important as the four-star looks at his own recruitment. Oregon’s recruiting staff is coming strong for Walden and it’s definitely a top team.
Before the travel ban, Walden had the chance to take a visit to USC and it went really well. He was especially struck by the Heisman Trophy wall in the football facility that gave Walden a really good idea of the history and tradition of the program. Maybe even more important, he hit it off with assistant coaches Tim Drevno and Viane Talamaivao. Those relationships could be really important as Walden works closer to a decision and it could be big if he returns at some point for an official visit.
3. FLORIDA STATE
The Seminoles have some ground to make up on the Pac-12 programs, but if Walden can get out to Tallahassee sometime over the summer then they could definitely be moving way up. New assistant coach Kenny Dillingham has connections not only to Arizona State but Scottsdale Chaparral HS and that could be important as well.
Two other things to watch: Walden could add immediate help to an offensive line at Florida State that could use it and Saguaro teammate Quintin Somerville is also looking to visit the Seminoles as well. It could get interesting if Walden and Somerville coordinate trips there before their decisions.
Texas has been a program Walden has been interested in for a long time and he had planned to visit before the travel ban came into effect. The history and tradition of the Longhorns’ program is a big deal, plus the coaching staff has done an excellent job recruiting the state of Arizona in recent recruiting cycles. The Longhorns have always intrigued Walden, he sees an opportunity to be developed on the offensive line there, it’s big-time football and Texas has done well recruiting the state. If he can visit Austin soon, then Texas could move way up.
5. ARIZONA STATE
How will the coronavirus travel ban influence players that cannot take all their visits before they want to make a decision? A good chance is that familiarity could win out and that’s why the Sun Devils could be a serious contender for Walden in the coming months. The four-star offensive tackle has been to Arizona State before, it’s down the road for him and Arizona State has an impressive coaching staff that has been coming after him and his teammates. If he cannot take all the visits he wants, the safe pick could be staying home.