Walker exemplifies heart, toughness

NORMAN, Okla. — If there's one thing that defines the Sooners' newest defensive tackle commit Charles Walker, examining his high school career can probably summarize it.

The three-star and No. 67 defensive tackle in the country out of South Garland (Texas) HS has battled injury since his sophomore season and fought through it without any regard for pain.

Just prior to his senior season he recently completed, Walker tore his labrum, but played the entire season on it.

Meanwhile, the 6-foot-4, 280-pound Sooner pledge also dislocated his shoulder, but that couldn't even stop him from being out there and making an impact.

"I just kept playing because I I didn't want to stop playing and just waste my scholarship for anything, any opportunities I have," Walker said. "So, I just had to toughen it up and do what I had to do."

The "diamond in the rough" player did what he had to do, securing his lone offer from one of the most prestigious programs in the country and giving himself a chance to play at the next level.

And it didn't take him long to pull the trigger, as he committed during his visit on the spot just about a month after receiving the Sooner offer.

"It was my heart," Walker said. "I just felt it was the right place for me from the campus to the people and to my opportunity of doing something big to a great team and going out and getting my opportunity to go pro."

Position coach Jackie Shipp has sent several guys to the league, including Gerald McCoy and Tommie Harris, so that opportunity is there if he becomes an elite player throughout his career.

But Walker first and foremost is motivated to make a big impact in the Crimson and Cream uniform.

"Man, they're getting everything," Walker said. "They're getting Charles Walker that never, ever, ever came out before giving my all, my blood sweat and tears, every inch of my body. Every day I'm just gonna perform at my best, just give it my all and make sure they know they made a great decision on offering me a scholarship."

Walker is now one of three Sooner defensive tackle commitments in a class that proved to be bare in that regard for the longest time in this recruiting period before recently.

Shipp and co. have also locked up Skyline HS's Kerrick Huggins and Trinity Valley JUCO's Quincy Russell—all in the last month—to solidify their needs up front.

So, they're certainly feeling the relief as they head down the stretch, but so, too, is Walker to join the group.

"Man, I just felt real relieved," Walker said. "I just felt like there's a bunch of stress just came off my back. I feel amazing. Greatest feeling in my life."

Now, the Sooners move on to fulfill the rest of their needs with three weeks and change left until Signing Day.

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