Walker Paces Process

He's not the best known linebacker in west Tennessee, but Chris Walker is arguably the best linebacker in west Tennessee and he's one of the top remaining targets for UT's recruiters in the Class of 2007.

It's another linebacker prospect from Huntingdon named Chris (Donald), who has captured the interest and imagination of UT fans, but there may be very little to choose from with these two talented defenders.

To appreciate how good 6-foot-2, 215-pound Walker is don't look at the three-star rating allotted by Scout.com, but rather the three favorites for his high-caliber services — Tennessee, Alabama, LSU.

Or look at the two schools — Michigan, Miami — he has left to visit before deciding on his five finalists. And take note of the fact he has also been offered by Ole Miss, Memphis, Mississippi State, Louisville, Auburn, Kentucky, Clemson and Vanderbilt.

Did we leave any out?

"Not really, I've heard from everyone that I really wanted," Walker told GoBlueWolverine.com earlier this month. "I heard Notre Dame is going to start recruiting me hard but I don't really care, I already have most of my top schools picked."

The fact Chris Walker isn't willing to wait around for Notre Dame shows he's in control of the recruiting process, but it doesn't mean he's in a hurry to make a decision. To this point, he has been very methodical in his approach, taking unofficial visits to nearly a dozen schools throughout the summer and planning five official visits later this fall before beginning his final deliberations.

"Right now Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, and Clemson are showing me the most interest," he said. "Those are the four that are really after me hard. The rest of my offers are recruiting me hard too, but those four seem to be showing me the most interest. Of course, you know Memphis is trying to keep me in town."

UT is trying to get Walker out of town while keeping the first team All-State selection in the Volunteer State. The reason is clear: as a junior at Christian Brothers High School Walker recorded 83 tackles, including 11 for losses with four sacks and an eye-popping nine caused fumbles.

"Probably my top three right now are LSU, Alabama, and Tennessee because how well I fit in with their coaches," Walker told Scout.com's Yancy Porter. "I just felt real comfortable with my surroundings at those three schools. That is why they are ahead of everybody else."

Walker is a solid student and said academics will play a significant role in his decision making process.

"The academic center; as I always say, you are only one play away from never playing football again," he explained of his criteria for choosing a college. "Academics will always be the most important thing for me. Other than that, it is the people. You do no not want to go somewhere where you are not going to be happy. You want to want to play for that team, coaches, players, and fans."

With Christian Brothers season opener set for Aug. 19 in the Bridges Kickoff Classic at the Liberty Bowl, his time for visits will be limited.

"I still have to take two more unofficial visits to Michigan and Miami," he said. "Until I make those two remaining visits I'm not going to cut down my list. After I cut down my list, I am planning on taking all five of my official visits.

"I already have three schools picked that I want to take my officials to: LSU, Alabama, and Tennessee. I still have to take these two more unofficial visits (Michigan and Miami) before I can pick the remaining two official visits."

No he's not in any hurry, but Chris Walker is a prospect worth waiting for.

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