EMU to Host Talented '15 QB Daniel Walker

2015 Flint (Mich.) Southwestern QB Daniel Walker talks about his first camp experience at Eastern Michigan, what he would like to accomplish on his second visit this weekend, his upcoming season, and more.

Heading into his senior year, Daniel Walker is determined to change the outlook for Flint (Mich.) Southwestern Academy football. After a 2-7 season in 2013, that might seem hard to accomplish.

But for Walker, it is a goal that is well within reach—if everyone works together.

“I’ve just been working out, lifting more than I have usually, and running more,” said Walker. “I’m trying to work with my receivers to help us become a team and one unit for this upcoming season. I think we will be pretty good if we can stay consistent with being one and nobody tried to be an individual superstar then we will be all right.”

As the starting signal-caller for the Knights, Walker knows that a lot of eyes will be on him this season. But as a mobile quarterback at 6’1” and 180 lbs., many of those eyes may already have pegged him as a run-first quarterback.

While he acknowledges his athleticism, according to Walker, that notion is far from the truth.

“I think that I’m a dual-threat quarterback, but [now] I would rather sit in the pocket and throw,” said Walker. “Schools really don’t think I can throw as well as they know I can. So this year I’m going to try to sit in the pocket more and throw more rather than scramble.”

During his junior campaign, Walker passed for over 1,500 yards while rushing for 700 more. These prolific numbers have led to considerable interest from several schools that have inquired about the talented prospect.

“Ferris State, Saginaw Valley, Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois,” says Walker of interested schools.

Earlier in the summer, Walker furthered his relationship with the Eastern Michigan program as he was invited to participate in one of their one-day camps held at Rynearson Stadium.

“They tried to work us a lot to see how we would perform,” said Walker. “That was different from all of the other camps that I’ve been to where it is straight into the one-on-ones.”

At camp, the Eastern Michigan staff quickly moved players from one station to the next, looking to evaluate prospects on technique, athleticism and coachability, among other traits. While this played to many of Walker’s strengths, he still sees room for improvement from his initial performance, which he hopes to top this coming weekend as he camps at Eastern Michigan for the second time in two months.

“I think I performed pretty good, but I know I can do better,” said Walker. “There were a couple throws that I was inconsistent with a little bit. Coach [Kalen] DeBoer talked to me after the camp and told me what I need to improve on, so I’ve been working on [consistency] since that happened.”

Coach Brad McCaslin, the Eagles’ defensive coordinator and inside linebacker coach, is Walker’s primary recruiter for Eastern Michigan. He also provided feedback on Walker’s first camp performance.

“They [Coach DeBoer and coach Brad McCaslin] told me I had a pretty good day. They said that he liked the way I was moving and how shifty I was. They said they are looking at me as an athlete, but that they would give me a chance to come in and play quarterback. I told him that I want to improve myself a little bit more by working hard in between the weeks from the first camp to the second camp and I just want to show everything that I can do.”

When asked specifically what he would like to show improvement on, Walker cites the attention to detail that he has committed himself to regarding his footwork.

“My footwork,” said Walker. “Throughout all the camps, my footwork has improved a lot. And really, day-by-day, I’ve been working on making every throw consistent and staying true to what I do. It was a pretty good experience the first time, but I think I’m going to go in and be more consistent on Friday.”

If Walker does come into camp on Friday looking polished and a bit more consistent, the Eagles’ staff may be so inclined to offer the Flint standout his first scholarship. This would go a long way in Walker’s recruitment, as the Eastern Michigan program made a good impression on his first trip and also exemplifies many of the traits that Walker is looking for in a school.

“I like where they are headed,” said Walker. “I think the new staff is pretty knowledgeable and they know what they’re doing. [Head] Coach [Chris] Creighton, I talked to him one night for a pretty long time and he was just telling me that their main focus is working a lot harder than the team has ever worked before and becoming a family. That’s what I really like and I see myself fitting in with that family.

“They seem like they are headed in a good direction and are in a pretty good situation with the new staff. I want to be headed in that same direction with them.”


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