That's when the good old eyeball test commences.
You know how measureables go. You see them on a profile and wonder just how close they actually are to the real thing. Some are every bit of what they are listed in regard to height and weight. Others..not so much.
Tre Walker passes the eyeball test to be sure.
At 6-3 and around 200 pounds, he's put together, whether you are thinking of him as a running back or a linebacker, both being positions he played last season for the Eagles. At running back all he did was average over seven yards per carry, toting the ball 43 times, getting into the end zone seven times. On defense Walker said that he finished the season with 70 unassisted tackles, but wasn't sure how many total tackles he had.
Those numbers tell you that he's a heck of an athlete, which is what Kansas State offered him as shortly before Walker said that Manhattan was the place for him.
Lots of players are good athletes though. But some don't translate that athleticism to the field as efficiently as Walker does. For him it's simple as to why. "I play with a motor. A lot of players out there, they might have the tools, but they aren't making the most out of their time," he said. "If you want to make plays, and you want to be an impact player on your team, you have to be active all the time."
Along with his physical attributes Walker has a head for the game. Actually, he's got the head for any game, Walker stating that as of right now he has a 3.80 GPA.
So, on paper the kid is legit. He's got the athleticism, the brain and the right attitude for the game. And while KSU is the only school to have offered right now, Walker said that there are plenty of schools showing interest. "There are a lot of schools that say they probably will offer or that I think are close, and there are other schools sending me a lot of letters," Walker said of a group which includes Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri, just to name a few. "I'm just checking each one out as I get the chance to see what they are all about."
The school which he visited most recently is Nebraska, as Walker attended the Annual Red/White Game. It was little more than a glorified practice, but Walker said that it would be hard to tell judging by what he saw. "Who has almost eighty-thousand people watching a practice? That's just amazing," Walker said of the Spring-Game crowd, which once again topped 75,000 in attendance.
One of the big reasons for his visit was just getting a chance to know Nebraska's Linebacker Coach Mike Ekeler. The second-year assistant actually knows a bit about the school Walker is currently committed to, because he played there during his Division 1-A days. He even played under their new/old Head Coach, Bill Snyder. So, that's a different perspective, and even though the assistant coach is going to sell the school he's currently at, Walker took his message seriously. "He said that there was no place like Nebraska. He said he had been to Kansas State, he had been to Oklahoma and he had been to LSU. And between the tradition at Nebraska, the people in the community and just the state itself, he said there was no place he'd rather be," Walker said.
The visit itself went as expected, Walker said. He figured the facilities to be top rate, and they were. He figured the atmosphere to be something else, and it was. He figured to see a lot of what he was looking for in a school, and he said that Nebraska hit the marks to a tee.
But he's still a commit to Kansas State.
The Huskers haven't offered as of yet. That's one reason. But another is that Walker himself said that he committed to Kansas State for a reason. What this trip to Lincoln was about is what other trips he plans to take will be about: Just making sure he made the right choice.
"I'm just exploring my options, but I know Kansas State is a great school," he said. "They have great people there, a great tradition and I really like everyone I have met. But it's only smart to make sure you made the right choice, and other schools are showing me enough interest that I think it's only fair to myself to go there, compare and be sure about the choice I made."
With the trip to Nebraska behind him Walker is now eyeing the future - perhaps a few team camps down the road. Maybe one to Nebraska, Oklahoma and Kansas, and he said he would definitely be going to the one held at Kansas State.
As for finalizing any list or reaffirming his commit to KSU, Walker isn't in any hurry. First, the other schools obviously have to step up to the plate as Kansas State did with the offer. Second, they have to prove that the situation they have is better than the one he's looking at in Manhattan. Walker said that won't be easy, because he committed to KSU for a reason, and it will take a bigger reason for him to change his mind. "I like the choice I made, but I'm going to keep an open mind and not close the door on anything," he said. "Nebraska is a great place, and I know I'd fit in well. But there is a lot more I need to find out about them and everyone else I may be looking at. There is a long ways to go."