"But when it came down to decision time, I just felt like Arizona State would be a better fit. I can come in and be a big impact player right away, rather going to USC and competing with all those guards and everybody that they have coming in. Not saying I don't like competition, but at the same time you do have to be smart about this decision."
Walker moved to the Phoenix area with his mother a few months ago, and while ASU's newest signee did admit that playing close to his new home was a factor, he also stated that there were other reasons for his decision.
"I want to be close to her," said Walker. "She always wanted me to go to ASU from the beginning. So when it came down to it that was part of my decision. I wanted to go where my mother wanted me to go and also where I thought it would be a great fit, and Arizona State just happened to be a really good fit."
Ever since he committed to the Trojans in August, Walker's mother, who knew she was going to move to this area, asked her son to consider other options.
"She was like, 'Maybe you should look at some other schools' and she mentioned Arizona State," recalled Walker. "I said, 'I don't know mom, I like USC.' At the time they didn't have all those guys committed, didn't have all the guards and everything like that. At that time I thought I could come in and be a big impact player. But when it came down to it and they committed all those (guards)...I just decided to go on an official visit to Arizona State and see how it felt."
Walker's visit took place last weekend and started two days following the first day that 2009 recruits could sign with the college of their choice.
"The day of signing (Wednesday the 12th) when all my teammates were signing and everybody else was signing, I just didn't have that gut feeling that would be a good fit for me," commented Walker. "So I decided to look into it more, made a call to Arizona State to see if I could go up there and visit and see things and went up there and had an amazing visit and fell in love with it.
"They (ASU) just want me to come in and play. They really didn't tell me exactly what I'm going to do. They just told me they believe in my talents and believe in my abilities to come in and perform right off the bat. Whereas USC, they were just, 'Hey, you're going to come in, you're going to play, but whatever happens, happens.' Arizona State was right to the point: ‘You're going to play, you're going to perform, and you're going to be a big impact in our program.'
As mentioned, the scheme the Sun Devils run was to his lining, not to mention a pleasant surprise.
"Actually before I looked at ASU, they ran a boring kind of offense – Princeton backdoor screen," said Walker. "I was like ‘Whoa man, I don't know about this.' but I've seen play on Friday (in ASU's 2008-09 season opener) and they're getting up and down the floor…and when I went to practice coaches are saying ‘push it, push it.' And I was ‘man – this where I need to be!' This is exactly what I'm good at – pushing the ball. A soon as I've seen that practice and seen that game I knew it was a real good fit for me."
Walker cited one aspect of the visit that impressed him more than others.
"The coaching staff was unbelievable," said Walker as his mother sitting next to him nodded in agreement. "They were at my every need for whatever I needed. They were just unbelievable. That's all I could really say. The coaching staff was amazing."
From the time he was an early teen, Walker was pegged as one of the future starts on the national scene. Walker matured early and reached his current of height 6-4 in junior high school. He was a dominant player at that level and in retrospect unrealistic expectations followed and adversely affected him throughout high school.
Today, Walker is naturally feeling relieved and excited about embarking on this new stage of his career.
"Having all the hype on my shoulders, having all the publicity since I was in sixth grade… it's really been stressful," acknowledged Walker. "But I've come a lot way. All the hard work has finally paid off. Now I have something my mother won't have to pay for the next four years. She can focus on whatever she's doing. She won't have to pay for my education any more. I'm just really happy about that."