Like fellow Missouri prep standout Ronnie Wingo before him, Jefferson City running back Kody Walker has decided to leave the Show Me state for the Land of Opportunity.
Walker (6-1, 230, 4.6) announced Saturday morning during a small ceremony before practice that he had chosen the University of Arkansas over Missouri.
A top 50 back nationally according to Scout.com, the 3-star prospect did so by picking up an Arkansas hat instead of a Missouri one that was also laying on a table.
"Since I knew I was going to get an education anywhere I went, it came down to the football aspect and what I was going to be doing," Walker said. "I thought Arkansas was a better fit for me with their pro style offense and playing in the SEC, because it is the best conference."
Walker, who rushed for 1, 554 yards last season and becomes the Razorbacks' 15th commit in the 2011 recruiting class, also chose Arkansas because of his relationship with running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Tim Horton.
"It had a great impact," Walker said. "Coach Horton kept in contact with me through the whole process. We talked and he sent tons of letters. That let me know how much he wanted me down at Arkansas."
Twila Walker, Kody's mom, was a real big fan of Arkansas after taking a recent visit with her son to Fayetteville.
"She really does love Arkansas," Walker said. "I kept and open mind about things, but I also listened to what she said."
Walker follows in the footsteps of former St. Louis prep standout Wingo, who also spurned the Tigers for the Razorbacks.
Walker knows he'll get some heat for leaving the state just as Wingo did.
"You are going to have people that are mad at you whichever way you go," Walker said. "Actually, that's just part of life. I knew I was going to upset some people with my decision because Mizzou is just up the road. It would be cool to play for the home-state team, but I just felt think it wasn't the best fit for me. I am the one that is going to college and I am the one that is playing football so it had to be my decision."
Arkansas also had an advantage with Walker because of their pro-style I-formation while Missouri is a spread offense.
"I am a running back and I love to run the ball and I am a big running back at that," Walker said. "I just think in the spread that I am not running downhill and it just wouldn't fit me. Running out of the I and running downhill at my size fits me best."
He doesn't want to be classified as just a power back.
"I don't look at myself as a power back, but I know that it is one of my greatest strengths," Walker said. "I use my size. But I do have quickness and once I get to the second level I have the speed. I am not the blazer, but I have to speed to get those extra yards."
Walker said that his decision is firm.
"I don't plan on visiting any other schools," Walker said.
The Razorbacks could add a 16th commitment later Sunday when Neville (LA) defensive tackle DeMarcus Hodge (6-1, 295) announces his decision.
Hodge will decide between Arkansas, TCU and Mississippi State.
New Razorback commit Kody Walker works to get a handle on the football in his Jefferson City squad's 20-18 win over Fayetteville last season.
Arkansas Lands Walker
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