RECRUITING: J.B. Walton Enjoys Recruiting Process

With plenty of scholarship offers already and more pouring in, JB Walton of Indian Head (MD) Lackey isn't ready to call the recruiting process tedious or tiring. Instead, the 6-3, 270-pound four-star rated (by offensive lineman is enjoying his 15 minutes of fame.

(J.B. Walton profile)

"It's weird how so many people notice me," said Walton, who admits that there are still 10-12 schools that he's seriously considering. "It is great how people notice because of the internet sites and all the attention. It has been a lot and exciting to me. When I go places and people know me from all the attention, it kind of makes me feel good."

Of the schools still in the hunt for Walton, the Florida Gators have a dire need to sign offensive linemen this year. The Gators have 12 scholarship linemen on the roster but five will be leaving via the graduation route so this is a priority position. In that this is a quiet month and coaches cannot contact recruits via telephone, the Gators are using the US Mail to keep in touch with Walton and pique his interest in heading south in 2006.

"Most of the letters have been real nice letters," Walton said the letters he gets from the Florida coaches. "They tell me they need a lot of help as they lose four senior starters and will be starting over again on the offensive line. A lot of talent comes out of there and they send people to the league (NFL). It's a great program."

While Florida may have an acute need that has caught Walton's attention, there are quite a few schools that he's still considering so he's not ready to narrow down his list at this point. He's taken some unofficial visits this summer and he's attended some camps to help him get a better idea about schools, their facilities and campuses.

"I still have a group of 10-12 schools that I could choose from," he said. "Right now there is a smaller group ahead of the rest. Penn State, Tennessee, Georgia, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Florida, Florida State, Virginia Tech … those are at the top right now.

"I went to the Maryland camp and the Penn State camp. I learned a couple of things in a couple of drills. It was good. At Penn State they had different kind of stations. It was like he kind of made up different things to do when we got to each station. It was pretty good too."

There are different attractions for each school. He took some time to talk about what has caught his eye at each of his favorites.

FSU: "They are kind of the same thing. There are some great linemen that came out of that school recently. They have had real good linemen there. Just like Florida they have talent all over that team."

GEORGIA: "I watched a couple of games of them and I saw that they play great ball. It starts with the offensive line. They had a great line. The running backs are good and they went to their little bowl game. They have good tradition. I talked to the recruiting coordinator when he came down during the track season. We talked a long time."

TENNESSEE: "Now they have a lot of tradition at their school. I saw pictures of their stadium and it is the biggest stadium I ever saw. I talked to the offensive line coach and he was pretty nice."

PENN STATE: "There is something about … I can't really say it. They have a great tradition. They also have the highest graduating percentage. It's only about 5-6 hours away."

NEBRASKA: "It's not a big state and the state is mostly about football. They also finished in the top ten in graduation rate. They have a good team and will do quite well."

OKLAHOMA: "They have a bunch of conference titles. That is another school where a lot of linemen come out and go to the league. They have a great running back right now, it would be okay just to block for him."

VIRGINIA TECH: "I went up there for a combine and I got a chance to look at the school. They had some great facilities and practice fields. They have a real big campus. I didn't get a chance to talk to the head coach but I talked to the recruiting coach and that was pretty good."

As he finds good things at each school, he's trying to make a priority list to find the school that has the most and the best of the things he believes to be important. The things that matter most are the "atmosphere, team, academics, and I need to get along with the players pretty well."

Walton's got a major in mind, too.

"I want to major in sports medicine or graphic design, or something like that," he said.

JB Walton doesn't have the massive size of some offensive linemen rated highly by the network. He doesn't use size but instead relies on explosion off the ball and tremendous quickness. There is nothing quick or explosive about his recruiting process, however. He's taking his time with that, hoping that a well thought out approach will result in making the best choice.

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