Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood junior defensive end Demarcus Walker traveled to South Carolina this weekend to watch the Gamecocks host and defeat the Florida Gators.
"It was real nice," Walker said. "It was way better than I thought it was. I got along with the fans. I got a lot of love from the coaches. I got to meet some current players and recruits. It was just really nice."
Walker had previously visited South Carolina for a camp, but Saturday marked his first gameday experience in Columbia.
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"When I was there in the summer I took a tour and they showed me everything, the facilities, and told me a lot about the University," Walker said. "But this time around I got to see some new things. I got to see what it is like for a game. I also got to see how they handle things surrounding a game."
During the visit, the 6-foot-4, 255-pound defensive end had an opportunity to spend a lot of time with his prospective position coach.
"I spent a lot of time with Coach (Brad) Lawing, the defensive line coach," Walker said. "When I first got there, he was talking to me. During warm ups, he brought me over to the corner where they were working and showed me what they were doing."
As for the game itself, the Gamecock faithful made an impression upon Walker.
"It was really loud, really, really loud," Walker said. "Their fans are crazy about them. Everyone was there jumping up and down for them. It looks like a great place to play football."
In the 17-12 victory, Walker paid close attention to the gameplay and performance of the defensive ends for the Gamecocks.
"I paid close attention to their defensive ends," Walker said. "(Melvin) Ingram, (Jadeveon) Clowney, and others. I liked how they were used. They create a lot of pressure and are really involved. I was impressed."
After the final whistle, Walker was able to spend more time around the team and coaches.
"I met Clowney and after the game Coach (Lawing) brought me over and had me meet some current players and some of their current commitments," Walker said. "They were just talking to me about it is a good program. They talked about how they are one of the best teams in the SEC and that they care about academics."
While Walker spoke to Coach Lawing about a variety of subjects, he said one particular comment he made stood out to him.
"Coach Lawing told me that all of the players that he has produced for the NFL, that they have come back and told him thank you for preparing them for the NFL," Walker said. "The stuff they did at South Carolina is what they do in the NFL."
With the visit wrapped up, Walker - who holds offers from Clemson, Florida International, Marshall, South Carolina, and Southern Miss - said that the Gamecocks definitely made a lasting impression.
"After the game when Coach Spurrier came to me, I gave him a thumbs up," Walker said. "I really liked it there. The visit definitely helped them a lot. After being there, I know they definitely have a chance with me."
At this time, Walker said his next scheduled visit is to travel to Florida for the Gators game against Florida State at the end of the month.