RECRUITING: Army All-American Rates UF Visit a 10

Darrin Walls, the Pittsburgh (PA), Woodland Hills cornerback, hardly had enough time to settle down from a whirlwind tour of the University of Florida when he was bestowed the priviledge of being selected as a US Army All-American. Walls accepted his role on the US Army East squad and was gracious in doing so. The soft spoken Walls is anything but soft on the football field, and the notoriety is well deserved.

(Darrin Walls profile)

"I just felt like it was an honor to actually be nominated to play in that game," Walls said Thursday night. "It's even a bigger honor to be selected to play in the game. I am looking forward to that week (in San Antonio)."

Even so, Walls was still high from his weekend visit to Gainesville where he really enjoyed himself. On one of five official visits, Walls witnessed the Gators beat the University of Tennessee Volunteers in front of the largest crowd to ever watch a football game state of Florida. From Walls' standpoint, he couldn't have been at a better match up.

"That was the best game I have ever been to," he said. "The fans were non-stop, they were loud and I just liked the atmosphere there."

Walls witnessed the stingy in-your-face defense that the Gators possess and labeled it an "aggressive bump and run." It's the kind of defense he would like to be a part of and thinks that Tennessee was caught off guard.

"I didn't think Tennessee knew what they were going to do because sometimes they would blitz corners and blitz safeties," said Walls. "I just liked that Florida played mostly man to man all the time. They were well coached."

After coming in Saturday afternoon and touring the facilities, Walls experienced a new tradition in the Gator Walk and saw tens of thousands of Gator fans cheer the team on along with numerous big-time prospects visiting that weekend. After the Gators' victory over the Volunteers, Walls and the prospects mingled in the locker rooms to take in the post-game celebration and atmosphere. It was there that he met his host, Avery Atkins.

"It was a lot of high spirits in the locker room, everyone felt great because of the big win," Walls said. "I got to know Avery Atkins very well, he is a real nice guy, and I liked him a lot. He told me everything he likes about the school, that it is a family to him."

On Sunday, Walls and the other prospects spent one-on-one time with Coach Urban Meyer and the assistant coaches. It was an informal session detailing how he would fit in in at Gainesville if he were to choose to come to the University of Florida.

"Coach Meyer talked about how the team is more like a family to him," Walls said. "He treats everyone like they are his sons and everything is family oriented. Coach Addazio, my recruiting coach, was telling me how the academics and football play a big part if I were to come there. Coach Heater went over how he teaches the schemes and how I would contribute to them if I went there."

If there was someone on the Florida team to compare himself to, it would be Vernell Brown. "I would probably say [I'm like] number 16, I am quick like him," said Walls.

Although the football season is still young, Walls has already made three official visits. He liked all three of his visits and while he won't name any favorites out of the three, he did say that his visit to the Gators garnered the highest rating.

"I would give it a 10," he said of his visit to Florida. "I gave Michigan a nine and Pitt an eight. I have one visit left to Notre Dame and that's it now, but I am looking to add one more possibly."

Despite missing a game due to a shoulder injury, Walls is still piling up the statistics in his senior season. "Our season is going real well, we are 4-0. I have played in three games with two interceptions and six tackles. On offense I have six carries for 99 yards and two touchdowns."

The Florida Gators couldn't have asked for a better atmosphere for Darrin Walls and his family on their visit to the Tennessee game. They were very impressed with everything they saw. Walls is at the top of the cornerback board for the Gators and would be a huge addition to what will be a spectacular recruiting class the way things are shaping up.

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