Texas A&M got their second huge commitment for the 2014 football recruiting class on Thursday morning when top LB Josh Walker (6-2, 225, 4.54) from Gilmer committed to the Aggies after visiting Texas A&M for the LSU game last weekend.
Josh chose Texas A&M over offers from Oklahoma and Texas, and several other top programs. The primary Aggie coach recruiting Josh was B.J. Anderson.
The Aggie Websider was the first sports site to recognise Josh as a future star and do an indepth interview with Josh way back in March - Top 2014 LB Josh Walker loves the SEC
In that initial interview, Josh told us how much he liked the SEC, saying "It's basically the baby NFL, playing the top athletes in the nation."
When I asked Josh in March what he is looking for in a college, Josh said "Great coaching staff, amazing facilities, and great in academics." I thought at the time that it sounded like Texas A&M would be a great fit for what Josh was looking for in a college.
Josh told us then had a strong interest in Texas A&M, noting its "close to home and it's in the SEC", and indicated that he visited Texas A&M was for a state 7-on-7 tourney, but that he looked forward to returning to Texas A&M for a closer look.
Well, this past weekend Josh finally had a chance to get that closer look at Texas A&M when he made an early morning trip from Gilmer to watch the Aggies battle LSU.
Josh made the trip from Gilmer with his brother Donnie Fenton, Donnie's wife Stacie, and Gilmer teammate 2014 WR/CB Devondrick Dixon (6-0 165 4.46)
They arrived about 7am for the 11am kickoff. Before the game they ate breakfast in the player's lounge.
Josh said of the game "The game was fun, very loud, and the fan support is amazing!"
I asked Josh what was your favorite thing from the visit to Texas A&M was and he said "The enviroment, facilities, College Station in general, and the student section."
While visiting, Josh said he spoke with running back Tra Carson from Texarkana Liberty-Eylau who transfered from Oregon to Texas A&M "because we played him in high school here at gilmer and we just conversated about A&M and how he felt about it."
Josh told me another recruit he spent some time talking to while visiting for the LSU game was 2014 WR Kd Cannon from Mount Pleasant. We also interviewed KD in March and projected Josh and KD as the two 2014 best players in East Texas.
When asked what made him decide to commit to Texas A&M now and why he chose the Aggies over other big programs that have been recruiting him, Josh said "Because I really like what the coaches at TAMU are doing there. Coach Sumlin is a great guy!"
Josh stars at both linebacker and running back for perenial power Gilmer who current sports a 7-1 record this season..
Prior to Friday night's 59-10 win over Spring Hill, Josh had recorded 39 tackles, 5 sacks, 8 QB pressures, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries on defense. On offense, Josh had 35 carries for 241 and 5 TDs and had 11 catches for 136 yards and 5 TDs.
I asked Josh what he thought were is biggest areas of improvement from his sophomore year to his your junior year, and he said "Tackling better, communicating, and pass coverage."
The Aggie Websider first identified Josh as a 2014 Texas Top 20 prospect back in March, just based upon his sophomore film and stats.
Josh's junior film is even more impressive! Josh shows even more speed and power this year. Josh is an attacking linebacker and a powerful back with good speed. I also loved Josh's blocking where he just punishes opposing players.
Josh could play on either side of the ball, but if he stays healthy and keeps developing, I think Josh could be an All-SEC / All-American level LB for the Aggies.
Based upon this new junior film, I am now thinking Josh could be one of the top 10 prospects in Texas for 2014. Definitely at least high 4-star!
Fox Sports National Recruiting Analyst Greg Powers reviewed both sophomore and junior film of Josh's and posted this on our Aggie Websider premium forum:
"The first thing that sticks out about Walker is that he is big and can really move. You see him line up in a number of different ways.
His Hudl clips alone kind of give off the perception that he is used mainly at running back, but in the complete game film he is more of a defensive player who is used on offense in certain situations.
He logs plenty of time on offense, but is more of a specialist. He is a hell of a blocker. And they like to bring him in almost always when closing in on the red-zone or a potential score. They also like to try and find ways to get him touches at that point.
But he clears huge lanes for sophomore running back Kris Boyd (A name you will want to remember) and has the type of speed and size that can really make teams pay when he does get his touches.
On defense, Gilmer runs a three man front on the defensive line, but they run Walker up to the line on one side or the other almost playing like a stand up defensive end. Gladewater tried as hard as it could to keep the flow of the game away from his side of the field no matter where he would line up.
But Walker still made some huge defensive plays in the game. A big sack (that will be the first play highlighted in the highlight package) and a number of other plays. He uses his size/speed combo to its best effectiveness.
The most appreciated fact about his game is the level that he plays at for the entire game. He takes no plays off. He is a pounder, a grinder, a throw-back type of athlete. The kid that gets picked first when you line them up on the playground.
His ranking projection is high. OLB."
I asked Josh whether there might be plans to see some action on offense for the Aggies or would it be all 'Wrecking Crew' defense for yhim, and he responded "I'd rather play defense but I'm going to work hard wherever they put me."
Gilmer head football coach Jeff Traylor told David Smoak on Thursday "Josh Walker is a young man of high character, he's extremely intelligent, and he's the reason you get into coaching, he's just an awesome kid."
Gilmer has some great young players, so I asked Josh if he thought he might start a Gilmer pipeline to Texas A&M, and Josh said "Yes sir hopefully, it would be wonderful" and specifically mentioned 2015 RB/CB Kris Boyd (6'0, 175, 4.46), 2014 WR/CB Devondrick Dixon (6'0, 165, 4.46), and 2016 NG/RB Demarco Boyd (Kris's younger brother).
Gilmer also a very good prospect in 2014 ATH Tanner Barr who had 10 interceptions for Gilmer at safety last season as a sophomore and is playing quarterback for Gilmer this season.
Finally I asked Josh whether he plans to visit any other schools or was he done with recruiting with his commitment to Texas A&M, and Josh responded "No sir, I'm going to stick with A&M!"
Josh Walker is an outstanding addition to the 2014 Texas A&M recruiting class, both on and off the field, and just the kind of play Texas A&M needs to compete for SEC and national championships!