Walker Makes The Call

Plantation, Fla., tailback Zach Walker brought a smile to IU Coach Terry Hoeppner's face Wednesday when he verbally committed to play for the Hoosiers. Walker is the third recruit to commit to the Hoosiers this week...

Bloomington, Ind. – Zach Walker undoubtedly brought a smile to IU Coach Terry Hoeppner's face Wednesday.

That's because the 5-8 ½, 186-pound tailback from Plantation, Fla., called the Hoosiers' head coach to let him know he'd made his decision about where to play his college football.

"I'm going to be a Hoosier," Walker said.

Walker becomes the third member of IU's 2007 recruiting class, all of whom have committed in the last week. He joins Warren, Ohio, safety Sidney Glover and Pittsburgh linebacker Dane Conwell, both of whom pledged over the weekend.

While he let the IU coaching staff know of his decision Wednesday, he said he actually knew that his future would be in Bloomington three days earlier.

"I knew it was going to be Indiana when I left (following IU's one-day camp)," Walker said. "I knew the moment I was on the plane on my way home. It was a tough decision, but I'm going with my gut. And my gut says Indiana."

Walker is a big get for the Hoosiers, who came out on top of a three-way Big Ten recruiting battle that pitted Indiana against Northwestern and Illinois. Walker eventually cut his list down to Indiana and Northwestern before settling on Hoeppner's program.

While he admits it was a close call between the two Big Ten schools, he said the people around the IU program is what swung the recruiting pendulum in the Hoosiers' favor.

"I loved the coaching staff," Walker said. "I got to meet with them twice, and I really, really enjoyed Coach Hoeppner and (IU running backs) Coach (Gerald) Brown. Of the three schools I visited this summer, I liked (Coach Brown) the best by far. Plus, Coach (Matt) Canada did a great job recruiting me. He was honest, up front, and just a really good guy."

Walker had a chance to sit down with all three over the weekend when he was in town for IU's one-day football camp. That also provided an opportunity to look around campus, which also was a big thing in the Hoosiers' favor.

"The campus, it is beautiful," Walker said. "It gave you a real homely feeling."

In Walker, the Hoosiers will be getting an explosive playmaker in the offensive backfield, someone who appears well suited to Hoeppner's wide open offensive attack that uses its tailbacks in the running game as well as the passing game.

"I'll be able to catch the ball out of the backfield, run some routes, which will space out the defense," Walker said. "As a running back, you want space to do things, to have room to make decisions. That's something you are able to do with this offense."

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