Walker Leaves Clemson on Emotional High

CUTigers.com has the latest on one of the top offensive line targets on Clemson's 2006 recruiting board.

OL Landon Walker Profile

6-6, 265 pound offensive tackle prospect Landon Walker traveled to Clemson University early Thursday morning for an unofficial visit.

"It went great. It went well," Walker told CUTigers.com after leaving campus. "I enjoyed talking with coach Bowden and coach Scott. I also enjoyed seeing the facilities."

The coaching staff seemed to really make a good impression on the North Carolina standout. "They were great," Walker said. "Coach Bowden talked about how important I was to Clemson. He is a real down to earth guy. So was coach Scott. There was no arrogance with them. They were all great and down to earth.

"Coach Napier showed me around the campus. We went to Vickery Hall. I got to talk to the academic advisor for football. He is a great guy. It is amazing how they treat their football players. They really keep an eye on them. They won't let you slip through the cracks. I also got information on their graduation rate. They have a 94% graduation rate."

So did Walker consider making a commitment today?

"No, I did not make one today," he responded. "I might be leaning that way. I want to go home and let my emotions settle down first. You are always going to be high right after a visit. I want to give it time to settle things down to make sure I still feel the same way."

When asked if the visit changed his favorites, Walker responded, "It is still Clemson and North Carolina State. They are even now."

If Walker had to sign today, would it be with the Tigers or N.C. State? "That is a hard question. I just visited Clemson so I am high on them right now. I really don't know. If I had to sign right now it would be Clemson. I just want to go home and let the emotions die down to see if I still feel the same."

Landon's father, who played with Clemson on the 1981 National Championship team, enjoyed seeing how things have changed in Tigertown in recent years.

"It has changed a lot," Mr. Walker said. "It was nice to go back and see all the progress that has occurred over the past 25 years. It is kind of amazing. They stepped the program up 1000%. What they do with the kids is amazing. They individualize every detail. The facilities are amazing. They give the kids the best of the best.

"They really rolled out the orange carpet. Usually you would say the red carpet, but you can't get by with that down here."

The elder Walker also believes big things are ahead for Clemson.

"My son was talking to them about how they are picked to win ACC this year. They may be able to make a run for a National Championship. It is still a tough conference though. They are going to win some rings at Clemson over the next four to five years. I told Landon it is one thing to play for a Division I program, it is another to play Division I and win championships."

Mr. Walker also feels Landon would have a chance for early playing time based on the Tiger's depth chart.

"I was impressed with the depth chart," he said. "We went in there and they actually got the depth chart out. They have a lot of seniors and another tackle that could turn pro. They have good depth at guard and center but need more tackles. I think he can play. They do as well. I try not to be partial. When they put the chart on the board it shows they are short on tackle."

One thing really stood out from the conversations with the Clemson coaching staff was the fact that the Tigers have clearly placed an emphasis on his son Landon. "That really impressed me. They said we they other people that they can offer, but they are waiting on Landon to make your mind up. They told Landon they needed to hear from him first. That impresses me.

"And one thing about Clemson verse the other ACC schools, it is a football school. I know they have basketball and other sports but at Clemson it is all about football. It is a town of only about 12,000, but they find a way to bring 80,000 for the games. It would be one thing if the college was in Atlanta or Miami. Clemson is not in a big market, it is in the middle of nowhere but they still fill those seats."

Finally, Landon's father also has discussed what it feels like to run down the hill with his son.

"I told him you don't know the feeling of running down that hill. You can't even hear yourself talk. I told him it was a once in a lifetime experience.

"I have told him that it is his decision to make. I told him he will spend the next four to five years there. I just told him to make the right decision. If he makes the wrong decision he will be unhappy for the next four to five years.

"He wants to let it settle in before he makes a decision. I told him not to make decision while his emotions aren't level. You will know if it is the right choice. If you still feel the same in a few days then go ahead and make the commitment."

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