One of the top 2014 prospects in East Texas is LB Josh Walker (6-2, 225, 4.54, 30 vertical, 280 bench) from Gilmer.
As a sophomore, Josh racked up 124 tackles (75 solo, 49 assists), 9 sacks, 17 quarterback pressures, 4 forced fumbles, 3 pass breakups, 1 interception, 2 blocked field goals a few blocked punts on defense and rushed for 265 yards and 2 TDs on 41 carries on offense, leading Gilmer to a 13-1 record, making it to the 4th round of the Class 3A state playoffs before being knocked out by Argyle..
Josh was the Longview-News Journal All-East Texas Newcomer of the Year and the District 16-3A Co-Defensive Newcomer of the Year.
Josh cites his strengths as a player as being "Strength, ability to play run and pass, and my pass rush."
Scout.com's Britton Lynn first reported on Josh in November 2014 RB Prospect Walker Working Towards State, and posted film of 4 plays of Josh at running back.
Josh is a huge fan of Von Miller, former Texas A&M All-American and Butkis award winner and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Josh started following Von after Von's sophomore season at Texas A&M, noticing Von's ability and comparing himself to Von. Josh loves Von's ability to get off blocks and make the tackle and his great footwork.
Josh would most like to improve the angles he takes to make a tackle and reaction to a play.
One of Gilmer's toughest games in 2011 was a last-second 39-36 win over district rival and defending state champ Carthage.
When asked what Josh remembered about that game, he said "It was tough, great O-line, great QB & RB (2014 RB Tevin Pipkin) and outstanding safety Ed Pope. I remember (Gilmer quarterback Luke Turner going down with an injury and we had to fight the victory through." Josh had 9 tackles in that Carthage game to lead the Gilmer defense.
Josh said the best players he faced in 2011 were Aggie signee Ed Pope and Longhorn signee Dalton Santos.
Carthage's star player was WR/DB Ed Pope who signed with Texas A&M last month. That night the future Aggie had 8 catches for 87 yards and 1 TD, a 25-yard reverse for a TD, and stared at safety. I asked Josh what he remembered about Ed Pope and he said "He was Looooonggggg ... haha. Very tall and slim built, athletic, and great character. It's funny you ask, because we are friends and we talk quite a bit!"
One of Josh's best games of the season was in a 57-40 Gilmer playoff win over Santos and the Van Vandals, where Josh recorded 21 tackles, an interception, and a forced fumble.
Josh's favourite teams growing up were Oklahoma and Texas A&M, and Josh has already been contacted by both, along with Texas, and Rice.
When asked what colleges he is most interested in, Josh responded "SEC. I love the defences ... like Texas A&M, LSU, Alabama, etc."
Josh's favourite conferences are the SEC and Big 12, saying "SEC=Defense, Big 12=Offense."
When asked what he is looking for in a college, Josh said "Great coaching staff, amazing facilities, and great in academics."
Josh has a strong interest in Texas A&M, noting its "close to home and it's in the SEC."
Josh is excited about the possibility of playing in the SEC, saying "It's basically the baby NFL, playing the top athletes in the nation."
Josh's only visit to Texas A&M was for the state 7-on-7 tourney but he looks forward to returning for a closer look.
Josh would like to attend some camps this spring and summer but does not yet have firm plans.
Josh would like to make his college choice sometime in 2013.
Josh was No. 7 on the initial Aggie Websider Texas Top 50 for 2014 announced on March 3rd.
Josh does not yet have his sophomore highlights film online, but said he will ask his coach to upload them.
A second D1 2014 prospect on the Gilmer defense is DB Tanner Barr (6-1, 170, 4.6) who had 10 interceptions as a sophomore. Josh said Tanner is "a very humble guy, great athlete, fun to be around, and he's gonna be one to watch next year!"
Josh's goals for his junior and senior years are to "the top athlete in my class, be a standout athlete, keep my grades up, and bring home a state championship to Gilmer."
Finally when I asked Josh if there was anything else we should tell our readers about Josh Walker, he said "I'm a hard worker, an amazing teammate willing to sacrifice for my teammates" and that he "Loves to Win, VERY competitive."
We hope the Aggies will make further inroads into the talent rich East Texas, and 2014 LB Josh Walker would be a huge step in this quest.
The Aggie Websider will continue to follow the recruitment of Josh Walker with great interest.