D-Day for Darius Walker

In one of the greatest recruiting rollercoasters of the year, Buford (GA) running back Darius Walker has <i>everybody</i> in the country fooled. Five or six schools today have a crack at the nation's #20 tailback, but nobody honestly knows where he is set for his college years. An announcement is expected in the next few hours...

The only prediction that can made with any certainty today is that Peach State product Darius Walker is going to surprise a lot of people.  The last 24 hours have been a complete zoo, with recruiting gurus, fans and coaches alike searching for information to indicate where the Georgia state Player of the Year is headed.

The facts:

  • Walker has officially visited Stanford, Ohio State and Alabama.
  • Walker is familiar with Arkansas, his father's alma mater, and visited Notre Dame unofficially in the fall
  • Walker has for the last two months publicly stated in every interview that the Irish are his leader.  He also speaks of Tyrone Willingham with great fondness
  • Stanford does not have a publicly announced running backs coach hired at this time
  • Buddy Teevens was scheduled to come into the Walker home next week for his one allowed in-home visit

Those facts point, in my mind, toward a Notre Dame announcement.  It seems illogical that Walker would have such a strong relationship with Willingham and then announce against Notre Dame before giving them the benefit of an official visit.

However, all kinds of information erupted on the Internet last night that has people guessing.  A rival recruiting service has listed three schools who still are of interest for Walker (OSU, Bama and Stanford) - while Notre Dame is listed with "no interest."  Word from a fellow Georgia recruit who has talked with Walker throughout this process says that OSU and Stanford are his final pair.  Quotes given yesterday by the father, Jimmy Walker, are heaping praise on the Ohio State running backs coach.  The father is also mentioning Georgia Tech as a school to watch.  But then, Notre Dame services who have very reliable gurus at the helm are predicting an Irish victory.

For my part, I spoke with somebody in the South last night who said the Walkers yesterday tipped their hand that today would be a Stanford announcement.

Almost any outcome revealed today will be both shocking and unsurprising.  Depending on your allegiance, there is evidence and optimism that can buoy you case.  We will all find out when Walker announces at his high school at 2:30 pm EST, which you should be able to follow on an ESPN.com chat with Walker.

If this announcement should fall in Stanford's favor, it will be one the more improbable recruiting upsets of the entire year.  Stanford is coming off a 4-7 season and lacks the assistant coach who had the closest personal ties with the Walker family, as well as the position coach with whom he so dearly needs to bond.  Teevens has not had the in-home visit, either.

If I believe my source from last night, then the Cardinal will shout with glee today.  But if all public evidence and logic is correct, then expect a little heartache in Arrillaga this afternoon.

Stay tuned to The Bootleg and our premium message board for this breaking information and much more in the insane world of recruiting!

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