Dakota Walker, 6'3", 220, 4.6/40

Untitled Document Dakota Walker, 6-foot-3, 220, 4.6/40
Outside Linebacker
Oakrest High School

As Rutgers continues to make inroads into the fertile recruiting grounds of South Jersey, Rutgers fans are hoping that last year's commitment by Shukree Barfield is just the beginning of keeping South Jersey athletes home. Dakota Walker is one of those players. Last season Dakota was named Defensive Player of the year at Oakhurst and is rapidly developing into one of the top linebacking prospects in New Jersey. Dakota's brother Desmond who plays running back at Oakhurst is also being recruited by Rutgers. The brothers hope to continue playing together at the collegiate level. We caught up with Dakota to see how the recruiting process was going:

How many offers do you have?
"So far, I have offers from Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Purdue, North Carolina and South Carolina."

Who are your favorites?
"My 3 favorites are Syracuse, Rutgers and South Carolina."

What factors make these your 3 favorite schools?
Syracuse - "They have a great football tradition and good communications program."
Rutgers - "It is an up and coming program and I like the coaches a great deal."
South Carolina - "They have a legendary coach and a good solid program."

What are the three biggest factors in your decision to attend a school?
-"The location of the school."
-"Playing time."
-"Fitting in well with my teammates."

What are your feelings on Rutgers?
"They definitely have an up-and-coming program. I have been very impressed
with their coaching staff, particularly Coach Melvin."

Would you seriously consider Rutgers if offered?
"No doubt about it. But we will have to see how everything plays out."

Who will assist you in making your decision?
"My parents, brother and high school coach will help in making a final decision."

Would you commit early or will you take all 5 visits before making a decision?
"I haven't decided on which 5 visits I will take, although I'm pretty sure I will
not make a decision until National Letter of Intent day."

Do you see your fellow recruits in South Jersey taking a more active interest in Rutgers?
"I think more and more players from South Jersey are considering Rutgers. The coaches have been around school a lot and you feel you can trust them."

Art Stein: astein2@nycap.rr.com
Mike and the Big Dog LLC

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