Film Study: D'Andre Walker

Matt DeBary takes a look at Langston Hughes LB D'Andre Walker on film.

D'Andre Walker is an elite pass rusher who put those talents on display against a tough Grayson team early in the season. Listed at 6’2, 210 lbs, Walker is not the biggest lineman on the field, but was an absolute force rushing the passer and getting into the backfield. He was all over the field that night, and continued to make plays in a losing effort.

What I like most about Walker is obviously his pass rushing skills. I’m not comparing him to Jarvis Jones, but the way he got in the backfield so quick that night just made me think back to the Jarvis Jones days. He explodes off the edge, and is in the backfield as soon as the ball is. Walker has those long arms, which help him get leverage on the Offensive Tackle. His special gift of long arms and incredible first step combine to make him one of the best pass rushing prospects in the entire country.

Walker had 4 sacks, and about 4 more tackles for loss on the night. He burst through a double team on a reverse, and knocked the ball carrier backwards a few yards, forcing a fumble. When he wasn’t sacking the QB, he did a good job stopping the run, and showed good effort in pursuit of the ball when Grayson ran the opposite way. The only thing that worried me was when Grayson started to dominate the game in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter. Walker had been dominating the game all night, but it looked like he might have gotten a little tired towards the end of the game, and Grayson was successful running the ball late in the game, eventually leading to an impressive comeback win over Langston Hughes.

Regardless of the score, Walker had the best night of anyone on the field, and had the most dominating performance out of anyone I saw play this past fall at the high school level. He might not turn out to be the best player on this list at the next level, but from my perspective, Walker had the best game of them all.

Overall, if you want to win in the SEC, you must absolutely have a guy on defense who can create pressure on the opposing QB, and that is exactly what Walker does. He might be a little undersized, but he is lightning quick off the line, and always finds a way to make a big play. I expect him to have a very good career at UGA, maybe not his freshman year, but he should play a big part in this defense down the road later in the year. With Jenkins, Floyd, Carter, and others already playing the OLB position very well, it would not surprise me to see Walker get a redshirt his first year, but then again with his pass rushing skills, anything can happen.

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