Walker Verbals To Notre Dame

Buford, Ga., running back Darius Walker made his intentions known at a press conference at his school as well as a live Chat session on ESPN.com. His decision may open the door for another player to join this OSU recruiting class as soon as tonight.

Darius Walker, a standout running back from Buford, Ga., announced a verbal commitment to Notre Dame just moments ago during a Chat session with Tom Lemming on ESPN.com.

Walker was due to also meet the local media in his hometown shortly after the announcement as he picked the Fighting Irish over Ohio State, Stanford, Arkansas and Alabama.

"It was a tough decision, but I'm headed to Notre Dame," Walker said during the chat with Lemming moments ago. "The combination of traditions and academics was too great to pass up. I'm also looking forward to working with Coach Willingham. I look forward to playing for the Irish next year."

Rumors have already surfaced that OSU will indeed offer Florida running back/defensive back Dennis Kennedy today and Kennedy could verbal. We will try and stay on top of that story.

Here are excerpts from a story we wrote with Walker's father, Jimmy, regarding the announcement last night:

Buford, Ga., running back Darius Walker has spent much of his last five days on official visits to Ohio State and Alabama. He still had a visit set with Notre Dame this weekend.

But Walker (5-11, 195, 4.45) decided yesterday to end the suspense. He will announce his college choice from a field that includes those three schools as well as Arkansas and Stanford at a press conference at his school this afternoon.

"He had five schools on his list for official visits," Walker's father, Jimmy, told Bucknuts.com. "He saw four of them on official visits and had been to Notre Dame unofficially.

"He is familiar with all of these programs. He is ready to make his decision (today)."

Various reports have linked Walker to Notre Dame. But his dad did not tip his son's hand.

"We've heard it all -- that he's going to Notre Dame and that he's going to Ohio State," Walker said. "I guess we'll know soon enough."

In terms of Ohio State, Walker said his son built a strong bond with running backs coach Tim Spencer.

"Actually, Coach Spencer is Darius' favorite coach," Walker said. "He has done a great job in recruiting him. Coach Spencer is his guy. I know Darius had an impressive visit with them in Columbus. He also had an impressive visit at Alabama."

Walker helped Buford win a third straight state championship with a 31-3 win over Charlton County in December. The win was Buford's 45th in a row, capping a perfect 15-0 season.

Walker also made history in the victory, ripping off a 35-yard touchdown run with 10:01 left in the game. The score was his 46th of the year, setting a new Georgia state record and breaking the old mark held by Herschel Walker.

Walker ended the night with 211 yards, giving him 2,408 yards for the season. That follows his junior year, when he had 1,986 yards and scored 26 touchdowns.

Walker, ranked as the nation's 26th-best running back by TheInsidersRecruiting.com, is also a strong student with a 4.0 GPA and an SAT score in excess of 1100.


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