Kentucky picked up its seventh verbal commitment in the football Class of 2014 on Monday when three-star Maryland safety/outside linebacker Kobie Walker gave his pledge to the Wildcats.
Announcing his decision via the Twitter social network, Walker (@BeyyondBelief) said: "Proud to announce my commitment to The University of Kentucky. #BBN #GOBLUE."
Walker (6-3, 195) plays for Good Counsel, one of the top talent-producing prep schools in mid-Atlantic region. As a junior, he recorded three interceptions and two forced fumbles.
He was also considering scholarship offers from Miami, Boston College, N.C. State, Syracuse, Rutgers and Wisconsin.
"I really loved (UK) during my visit," Walker said. "I was down there for the spring game, and it was just amazing. They had over 50,000 people there. I was blown away by the support they had, the energy of the coaches and players, and how nice and welcoming all the people were. I really thought about committing then, but I wanted to come back home and think about it a little bit."
Walker is being recruited by UK assistant coach Tommy Mainord. He is Mainord's first verbal commitment for the Cats.
"He's a really down-to-earth guy," Walker said. "I liked all of their coaches. It's a great coaching staff."
The job that Mark Stoops and D.J. Eliot did in helping Florida State become one of the nation's top defensive units the last two years was also a strong selling point for Walker.
"That was big," he said. "Those guys have a great track record of developing guys and helping you get better.
"I also liked their plan for me as an outside linebacker. I play safety right now, but they think I'm going to grow some more and get bigger, so they see me as one of the fastest linebackers around."
Walker's versatility was what caught the eye of the UK staff when he was initially offered a scholarship.
"They love how I can rush the quarterback or drop back into coverage on the slot guy but at the same time still be physical and aggressive against the run," he said.
Kentucky did not sign any linebackers in February. Ohio's Dorian Hendrix was the first verbal at the position for 2014, and it will continue to be a priority. Walker said he plans to get a leg up on the competition.
"I plan on graduating early and getting down there for spring practice," he said. "They told me how they don't have much depth at all right now, and if I come in and learn the system and work hard in the spring, there's a good chance I could compete for a starting job. That's what I want to do."
Walker predicts big things in the future of Kentucky football. Like many of the Cats' other targets, he's been keeping a close eye on the recruiting scene.
"I hung out with a bunch of them at the spring game, and you could just sense that something big was about to happen there," he said. "We've stayed in touch through text messages or direct messages on Twitter, stuff like that. There's just so much excitement about that program right now. I can't wait to get there and be part of it."
UK lands verbal from Maryland S/OLB
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