As a true freshman year at Clemson, Walker tore the meniscus in his left knee. The procedure at the end of July was a result of an infection from that first surgery.
Walker admitted that he felt some pain throughout the summer, but didn't think much of it.
"I had run on it all summer. I was under the impression it was tendinitis. I didn't think it was much more than that. I just went into the training room one day and told Danny [Poole] it had been bothering me."
Again, nothing too serious.
"It was a little cartilage, just a little infection from my first surgery," Walker said. "I was thankful and blessed for it to be that simple to fix...it's exactly a two week recovery. That's how it worked out. I had two weeks before camp started and I was able to rehab it for two weeks.
"Obviously, I'm out here practicing. It feels really great."
COMFORTABLE, CONFIDENT: At this time a year ago, Xavier Brewer was still learning the ropes.
He played in all 14 games as a redshirt freshman in 2009. But, with 119 snaps under his belt, he was still pretty green. Almost half of those plays came in mop-up duty against Middle Tennessee and Coastal Carolina.
Brewer's confidence grew by leaps and bounds in 2010 when he logged 649 snaps, most of them coming in meaningful situations. (Roy Philpott)
"That first-time I was out there with 80,000, it was just like, whoa. After a couple of games went by and we went through Auburn, it can't get much tougher than that," he said. "I just grew up and matured."
Now, as Brewer enters his redshirt junior season, defensive backs coach Charlie Harbison has asked him to share that maturity with the other, younger defensive backs.
"Just on the field and off the field with those younger guys, making sure they keep their academics straight," Brewer said. "I made the same mistakes when I was younger. I just don't want them to make those -- don't be a distraction off the field."
When asked about freshman Cortez Davis, Brewer said, "He's big, long and athletic. He's going to be a very good player in the future, and now.
"He's getting better every day. I'm excited about him. It's another Florida boy back there."
ALWAYS INTENSE: Never mind that Wednesday was the first day in pads for the Tigers. According to Andre Branch, when you play on the line, the intensity level is always high.
"I'm a d-linemen. D-linemen and o-linemen, intensity's always high," he said. "We can be in no pads. We can be in no shirts. It's still going to be high when you're competing in the trenches."
Practice Wednesday wasn't much different than previous year's first day in pads.
"Not for the d-linemen and o-linemen at all. We're always battling, regardless," Branch said. "Maybe for linebackers to safety-wise. Other than that, no."