IU Gets A Kick Out of Ohio's Walker

Findlay, Ohio, kicker/punter Brandon Walker already has received a scholarship offer from Indiana, and IU Coach Terry Hoeppner is hoping Walker will accept and then kickstart the Hoosiers' kicking game.

The Indiana Hoosiers appear to be in the market for another kicker in the Class of 2007.

The Hoosiers have their eyes on Ohio native kicker/punter Brandon Walker from Findlay High School. The 6-2, 190-pound Walker is gaining national attention and already has an offer from Indiana in his pocket.

"I have four written offers and one verbal (offer)," said Walker. "Indiana, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan and Toledo have given me written offers and Louisville told me they mailed it last Thursday, so we've been checking the mail."

With offers in hand, Walker has been on the road this summer to visit schools and show off his skills at various camps. He has also impressed more schools along the way.

"I went to Indiana during the first week of May and besides camps I've gone to Toledo several times but that's only because I have friends there," said Walker. "I've been to Pitt once in April. But I've been to a bunch of camps. I actually went to Indiana, West Virginia and Pitt's camps all in one weekend. Pitt told me I kicked very well and if they are going to offer a kicker, it's going to be me."

If Walker does choose the Hoosiers he may be able to get himself on the field as early as his freshman season and take over all the kicking duties his sophomore season. Indiana does have some competition when it comes to playing time, however.

"Indiana told me that I would probably kick as a true freshman and punt as a sophomore," said Walker. "They only need to me kick right away. Toledo told me they want me to do both, Eastern Michigan said they want me to do both, Pittsburgh is looking for a combo guy, Louisville wants me just as a kicker and so does Cincinnati. There are some other schools out there that are still talking to me about being a combo guy too."

Walker knows the recent history of Indiana football, but he enjoyed his visit to Bloomington and knows Indiana head coach Terry Hoeppner is doing his best to turn the program around.

"The facilities are nice at Indiana," said Walker. "The day I was there they were picking the architect to do the new building near the north end zone. Coach Hep is starting new traditions all over the place there and bringing back the famous alumni. I even saw some commercials he made for the program, he's advertising that program well and the hype is definitely there."

However, being from Ohio Walker does have the natural inclination to pay close attention to the powerhouse in his home state.

"Ohio State talked to me early in May and one of the coaches came to my school," said Walker. "But after I got my first two offers, I got a letter from them that they want me to come to their camp. But I think by the time they would offer I'm already going to have my decision made, so we kind of put them on the back burner. I want to decide before my season starts and at the latest in September."

If Walker does not have his mind set by his deadline, he plans on making a couple of road trips to refresh his mind and help with the decision.

"If I don't have a school picked by the start of the season, I'm going to narrow my list down so I can visit the schools and see a game every weekend," said Walker. "Right now my list is the schools that have offered me. They're all pretty close. There are some small differences that may put someone ahead, but right now Indiana and Louisville are right there."

With the summer camp season already started, Walker is taking careful steps to make sure he does not have a repeat of what happened to him last season.

"I had eight or nine camps in three weeks, so right now I'm actually taking a break from kicking," said Walker. "I'll probably start up again in a week or so. I'm focusing now on lifting and running to get back into football shape. Last year I kicked my leg out during the summer and I wasn't back until the fourth game of the season."

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