Auburn In The Hunt For Dynamic Pass Rusher

Speedy pass rusher D'Andre Walker talks about visiting Auburn and what he likes about the Tigers.

Fairburn, Ga.--Rated a four-star prospect and the number nine outside linebacker in the country by Scout.com, Langston Hughes High standout D'Andre Walker recently took a visit to Auburn to check out the Tigers and came away impressed by what he saw.

Spending time with Gus Malzahn and defensive line coach Rodney Garner, Walker said that everything about the visit to the Plains went well and he especially enjoyed getting the opportunity to sit down the the guy that led Auburn to a 12-2 season and the SEC Championship last year.

"It was great," Walker tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "It was nice seeing everybody again and getting to build a better relationship with them. Just sitting around and talking with everybody was nice. I really like Gus Malzahn. He's a motivator to everybody else, his players and coaching staff."

While he's rated as a linebacker, Walker plays defensive end in high school and is being recruited for that position by several schools including Auburn. An explosive edge rusher that has the speed to chase down ball carriers from sideline to sideline, Walker plays the game much like departed Auburn senior Dee Ford. With Ford likely heading to the first round in the 2014 NFL Draft, Walker said that's a big plus for him and is a great sign if he chooses to follow in his footsteps at Auburn.

If he does then Walker will play for Garner. A demanding coach that led an improving defensive line at Auburn in 2013, the former offensive lineman for the Tigers is looking for difference-makers up front and specifically at defensive end. Wanting to find players that can wreak havoc off the edge, Garner is focused on finding at least two of those players in 2015 and Walker said the coach is telling him he could be one of those guys.

"I like the fact that he keeps it real with me," Walker said. "He's recruiting me really hard. He is honest with me. He tells me that I can play defensive end and that if I go to other places that might move me to outside linebacker. He's telling me he would let me play defensive end."

Currently checking in at 6-2, 213, Walker has the size of a linebacker and could excel in that role as well. Hoping to get a shot to show his versatility, in the end he said his joy still comes from getting after the passer.

"It's important, but at the same time I want to get experience at outside linebacker," Walker said. "That would let me open up my variety. I could score touchdowns and get interceptions and things like that. As long as I am still rushing the quarterback I'm always happy."

A player that totaled 21 sacks as a sophomore and added 20 last season, Walker is definitely a major focus for many of the top schools in the country. With several dozen offers from coast to coast, he said he's still trying to narrow things down but believes Auburn will be one of the schools he considers until the very end.

"I could see myself going there and getting a better education around them and playing football for Gus Malzahn," Walker said. "I have narrowed things down some, but I'm still working on it. I think Auburn will be in the mix."

He said he wants to visit South Carolina and Clemson sometime this spring in addition to making a return trip to Auburn.


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