Walker relishes chances at big stage

The memorable saying "good things come in small packages" can certainly be applied to Josh Walker, a 5-foot-6, 160-pound running back who rushed for 2,261 yards the past two seasons in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. Walker was nearing the end of his stellar high school career at Harry D. Jacobs (Algonquin, Ill.) without any offers, but landed his first from Army in mid-December.

A little over a month later, Walker made the decision to commit to West Point after taking an official visit to campus. He discussed his decision in detail with ArmySports.com.

"First, I would like to recognize the people at West Point," Josh Walker said. "I went on other visit and the people were very nice, but not genuinely nice like they were at Army. The people there would stop and talk to us and ask if we had any questions they could answer. They were all nice, genuine people. I think that's what attracted me the most. Then you factor in the rich history of the Academy, the great facilities they have on campus, it was something I really wanted to go and be a part of that type of tradition.

"One of the biggest reasons for my commitment (to Army) was the opportunity to play on the big stage. They believe in my talent as a player and think I can help them out against the schools they compete with every week on the big stage. They want me to come in and play running back or wingback. My ability to score from anywhere on the field and my elusiveness as a runner and ability to make people to miss is why they said they were excited about offering me when they did. Playing in the triple option will get me into space faster than before and that's really where I'm the most dangerous."

In his senior season at Jacobs, Walker rushed for 1,207 yards (8.4 yards-per-carry) in nine games and had 19 touchdowns. He was named first team All-Area and All-Conference for the second straight year and was All-State honorable mention.

"Showing patience was the biggest improvement I made since last season," he said. "I put in a lot of hard work in the off-season and I think that it showed on the field and in my stats. It was getting toward the end of the season and I didn't have any offers. When I finally learned that I had one from Coach (Tucker) Waugh (of Army) it was like the pressure was finally taken off.

"We were leaving New York to escape Winter Storm Juno and Coach Waugh called to touch base with me before we left. I told him then I was ready to commit. It's so exciting to have this opportunity (at West Point). It's really a relief to commit and have that pressure off to focus on other things. I'm going to relax now and work on getting my grades up as high as possible before I graduate."

Known for his blazing speed, Walker has a personal best of 10.8 in the 100-meter dash and 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash. His father, Greg, who accompanied him to West Point, was a defensive back at Syracuse from 1988-91. Walker will begin next summer at West Point Prep.


ArmySports.com Top Stories