When Marcus Walker was recruited about of Waco High School in Texas he was told by the OU coaching staff that he would have a chance to play as a true freshman. Walker was working his way up the depth chart in fall camp before a sprained ankle forced him to redshirt.
Five weeks ago, the OU defensive coaches took Walker off of the scout team and had him work with the varsity. He looked so good that for five weeks the coaches debated about bringing Walker out of redshirt. Finally this past Saturday in the second quarter, Walker replaced junior Eric Bassey and played an outstanding game in the Sooners win over Texas A&M.
That effort will earn Walker his first start on Saturday, and after Monday's practice today he spoke with OUInsider.com
JH: How do you feel about getting all this media attention for the first time this late in the season?
MW: "I am just out here with my teammates working hard and just trying to prepare for our next football game against Nebraska."
JH: Did you have any idea that you were going to play against Texas A&M?
MW: "I prepare in practice every weekend as if I am going to play. So, I was comfortable with playing. My coaches have always told me, even in high school, that I needed to prepare as if I was going to play because you never know when you are going to be needed. I just went and practiced very hard and I was ready to play."
JH: How was this Monday different than from any other Monday that you have had?
MW: "It was the same. Like I said, you have to come every week and every day and practice like you are going to play, even if you know that you aren't going to play. It has been the same for me except that I have been a little more focused on the things that we are going to need to know for Nebraska."
JH: Missed communication has been a problem in the secondary. How did you feel about it when you got into the game?
MW: "Once I got in there we just made an agreement that we would talk after every play. The coaches talked to me a little more because I had never played. My teammates wanted to talk to me because they knew that I was young and that I needed the extra communication."
JH: How much more is there to know about this defense than you know now?
MW: "You just have to come to work every day and learn whatever they throw at me. Every day I just try to take another step and learn more about our defense."
JH: I know how good you are, but still it was your first game as a Sooner. Were you surprised that Texas A&M didn't throw at you more?
MW: "I don't know what they were thinking or what they were trying to do."
JH: You were just playing and you really didn't notice that they didn't test you during the game?
MW: "I noticed that they didn't throw at me. I just don't know what to say about it."
JH: I know you love challenges and I know you like to cover in some man-to-man in high school, but what kind of adjustments have you had to make playing zone at OU?
MW: "You have to more of a complete player at OU. That was one of the reasons why I came here because I wanted to be more of a complete player. When you come to a school like this you have to be a complete player, you just can't play man coverage. You have to do all things to play here. You have to tackle in the run game and in the pass game, and you have to be able to cover. That was an adjustment for me because I am not in press man all the time."
JH: You cover a great receiver core in practice. How will that help you at OU?
MW: "All this year I haven't been playing, so I have been using practice as my game. I went against Mark Clayton or BJ and played them in practice as if that was my Saturday. They are all great, so I have been using that as my game. That is how I get my work."
JH: The Sooners are still in contention for the National Championship and now you are the starting cornerback. This has to be a different feeling for you isn't it?
MW: "Not really. I have felt that I am a part of this team before this, even if I didn't play. I am a part of this team if I didn't play or if I did play. So, my thinking hasn't changed."
Walker was prepared to go against A&M
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