Committed Over: Florida State, interest from Arizona State, Colorado, Michigan, Oregon, Oregon State, Purdue, UCLA and USC.
On Film: Blake Walls shows good speed, pursuit and strength on film, three attributes that certainly make Christian Tago a force in the Spartans' current lineup. Walls is especially physical on the field, initiating heavy contact and following through on tackles.
Walls's skillset makes him especially effective against the run. His strength allows him to keep his eyes on the ball and shed blocks, with his athleticism getting him to the ball in a timely fashion.
San Jose State's particular needs will likely dictate how soon he gets on the field, but he shapes to make for a good one-two punch with Frank Ginda for years to come.
Recruiting Impact: Blake Walls was a big get for the Spartans’ defense in 2016. Walls was projected to be a high-level power-five type of recruit, but he essentially shut down his recruitment after he committed early to the Spartans.
In result, Walls didn’t rack up the offers that were expected and he was moved from a four-star recruit to a three-star, but he still lists impressively in the rankings.
Only 11 inside linebackers were given four stars in Scout’s final rankings, with Walls coming in at 21 nationally. Only one recruit in the entire nation ahead of Walls signed to a group of five school - four-star Jaquan Yulee who committed to Marshall.
Walls also ranked fourth in both California and the West region at large.
San Jose State’s relationship with players at Serra HS helped make the commitment possible. The Spartans added running back Malik Roberson and linebacker Corey Adolphus in the 2015 class. Before the two recruits left off for college, they helped convince Wall to join them a year later.
Watch to see if SJSU keeps the pipeline going and lands another Serra prospect in 2017.
In the 2016 class, Walls is definitely the prize at linebacker. The Spartans lost the highly rated Tamaivena twins on NSD to Washington State. The two outside linebackers were expected to have a big impact. In the final class, Walls is joined by under-the-radar recruit Noah Failauga.
Quotable: “They had a big impact on my decision,” Walls said of current Spartans Corey Adolphus and Malik Roberson, formerly of Serra HS. “Every time they went out there they came back and told me how much they enjoyed it out there and how they really take care of you if you’re serious about being a Spartan. They really told me how much fun they had there and how cool the coaches are there.”
Expert Opinion: “Blake Walls I thought was a steal,” said Scout national recruiting analyst Greg Biggins. “He was one of the top linebackers, battling some injuries the last couple years, but he’s a really physical, run-stopping inside linebacker. Just real tough, likes to hit. I really like his style of play.”
Coach’s comment: "Blake is a strong, instinctive and physical-style player," San Jose State Head Coach Ron Caragher said. "We are excited about the skills he brings to the linebacker position."
Final Thought: Walls, at the early time of his commitment, was the type of prospect that you worried if a school like San Jose State could hold on to all the way to signing day. Even with defensive coaching changes, the Spartans managed to keep the prized recruit.