Gamecocks Impress One of Nation's Best

Christchurch (VA) 4-star wide receiver Deion Walker is one of the top receiver prospects in America this recruiting year, and the highly touted playmaker made an unofficial visit to South Carolina over the weekend to see what all the Gamecocks have to offer. Did USC jump to contender status with the elite target after his time in Columbia? Read inside to find out.

The 6'3", 185 pound Walker, who runs a 4.43 second forty yard dash, is rated by as the #8 wide receiver prospect in America this year, as he possesses the size, speed and playmaking ability that every college coach looks for in a receiver. With over forty scholarship offers to his credit, Walker has remained busy in recent months, visiting several of the schools that are pursuing him. Just in the last couple of weeks, Walker has made trips to Florida, Florida State, LSU, Auburn and South Carolina, with his visit to Columbia coming this past Friday. According to Walker, he enjoyed his time at USC and learned more about what the Gamecocks have to offer.

"I visited South Carolina on Friday. It went really well," said Walker. "I actually arrived pretty late, so it was kind of hard to meet all the coaches and things like that, but I had a pretty good time. I got to see all the facilities. I saw the weight room and saw a couple people working out. I saw all around Columbia and the University. I met up with my good friend Freddie Brown and Coach (Brad) Lawing, and we talked about what South Carolina has to offer. It was a good visit."

One topic of discussion that came up during his time on campus was the highly regarded crop of receivers that the Gamecocks signed this past February. However, Walker said that won't discourage him from considering South Carolina.

"They signed like six receivers in the ‘07 class, and they said some of them may play DB and some might not. It doesn't really bother me much, because a lot of the people that they signed aren't very big. There are a lot of speed and shifty guys, so I could play on the outside. I'm more of a tall guy that can run. I can play outside, and I can also play the slot a little bit too."

Walker's time in Columbia allowed for a reunion of sorts between him and current USC wide receiver Freddie Brown, as the two have remained good friends ever since Brown played football under Walker's dad in high school.

"Freddie Brown is a good friend of mine. When I was in the 8th grade, my dad coached him at the high school that I was going to go to. I was always around him, and Freddie was always the best athlete. I guess I kind of gravitated towards him because he was the big man on campus. He guided me in the right direction and taught me the do's and don'ts of high school. Then when that came about, we just clicked, and we've been best friends ever since then. He‘s definitely working me to join him at South Carolina now."

With Brown already trying to talk Walker into joining him at USC, it turns out that the star receiver also has family ties to South Carolina, as three members of his family went to school in Columbia.

"My uncle, my aunt and my dad all went to South Carolina. My dad's been pretty lenient about where he wants me to go, but my aunt and uncle said, ‘Anywhere but Clemson.'"

Following his trip to USC, Walker stated that the Gamecocks made a very good impression on him and have become a bigger factor in the race for his services.

"It actually caught me off guard, because since my family went there, there's been a lot of construction since then and there's a lot more going on than what they experienced. It actually caught me off guard how nice the facilities were and how up to date everything was. They definitely caught my attention."

The only downside of Walker's visit to Columbia was that Steve Spurrier and Steve Spurrier Jr. were out of town, but Walker insists that he could make a return trip to USC in the near future.

"Coach Spurrier and Coach Spurrier Jr. weren't there this weekend, but I'll probably come down again. My grandmother lives in South Carolina, so I go to South Carolina a good bit."

Other than his USC visit, Walker points to trips at Florida, Florida State, LSU and Penn State as other stops that have stood out to him on the recruiting circuit. While he is not ready to name a list of favorites just yet, Walker said he has a good idea of the schools that he is most interested in and plans to narrow his list within the next few weeks.

"I've narrowed it down kind of, but I haven't put it out there yet, because I'm not sure if I'm going to stick with that yet. I'd say I plan on cutting my list down around August 1 and then committing maybe midway through the season. I'll take some official visits and then make my decision."

With so many top programs chasing him, Walker said he will look for one key factor to help him differentiate between the schools when deciding on his college choice.

"The environment is really big. I know a lot of schools that I have offers from, their football programs speak for themselves, but I don't want to go somewhere that I'm not going to have a good time when I'm not playing football."

Walker, who racked up 47 catches for 732 yards and 8 touchdowns in his junior season, said he still hopes to take visits to Michigan, Nebraska, Colorado and Southern Cal by the end of the summer. Walker benches 220 pounds, squats 435 and has a 37-inch vertical jump. He reports a 3.2 core GPA and a 21 ACT.

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