Avery Walls has nearly 30 scholarship offers, making him one of the most highly touted players in the Peach State for 2011. The Tiger staff has extended their scholarship offer, and the weekend’s Spring Game was used as an opportunity to get the three-star safety and his family to campus for a visit.
“My mother and I drove in, and we both really enjoyed the experience,” Walls said. “I know she really liked. We knew about what LSU offered with their football program, but the academic side is what really impressed us. Everything was top notch.”
Upon his arrival, the McDonough, Ga. native took some time to acquaint himself with life away from the football field. And when it comes to suitability as a future home, Baton Rouge passed with flying colors.
“The players made me feel right at home,” Walls said. “I hung out with Russell Shepard at his place for a good bit on Friday. He was getting that haircut he had for the Spring Game, so we were all laughing and cutting up about what the coaches would say when he went for the morning meetings. It was an awesome time.
“What stood out most was that everyone was from all over the country,” he added. “There were Georgia, California and Texas kids, and all of them had been top recruits, but none of them had big heads. They were all humble. Everyone was really down to earth, and they were focused only on winning football games and doing well in the classroom.”
The classroom, much like Shepard, is somewhere that Walls stands out. Next December, the rising senior will graduate from high school early and enroll at the college of his choice.
“Shepard talked to me a lot about what enrolling early at LSU can do for you, and it seemed to me like a great opportunity,” he said. “He is set to graduate in three years, and coming into college early would give me that same chance. I also would have a spring practice up on the rest of my class, and that would definitely benefit my chances of playing early.”
Both before and after Saturday’s game, Walls and his mother had the chance to meet with the LSU coaching staff; a stretch that included visits with head coach Les Miles and defensive backs coach Ron Cooper.
“I talked with coach Cooper about the normal recruiting stuff, and I know that he likes me and wants me to end up a Tiger,” Walls said. “Coach Miles said the same. He told me that they needed some secondary help in this class, and I would be a big pickup. He loves that I am graduating early, too.
“From coach Stephenson to coach [Sherman] Morris, I like all the LSU coaches and assistants, and I have been in contact with them for a long time, so the relationship is strong.”
Upon his arrival back home on Sunday, Walls sat down and rehashed the weekend’s events, giving the campus visit the highest possible marks of satisfaction.
“LSU has really good athletics, but how the campus felt was what stuck with me,” he said. “The people that surrounded me when I was there were a lot like me. I liked the academics, also. It was all really nice, and they had a lot of great things going on.
“The visit definitely put LSU in a great spot,” he added. “I am planning on taking a couple of more visits this spring during my break, then I will hit some camps this summer. After that, I want to have my decision made.”