This weekend, Arizona's top offensive line prospect in the class of 2015, Keenan Walker, will be in Los Angeles for the Nike Camp, but while he's there, he plans to perform double duty, and check out a couple of possible college destinations.
"I think I am going to check out both USC and UCLA," the four-star offensive tackle said. "I'll probably do both visits on Saturday afternoon, since we're driving out from Arizona (today) after school."
Walker, out of Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral, says he's been hearing a good deal from both of the Los Angeles-based schools, with the USC staff actually building on a relationship started at a previous school.
"Both staffs have been talking to me a lot lately," Walker said. "(USC linebackers coach) Peter Sirmon has been recruiting me primarily from USC. I knew him from Washington, where the staff was recruiting me pretty heavily under Coach (Steve) Sarkisian.
"With UCLA, I'm primarily hearing from (assistant wide receivers coach) David Marsh."
This will be his first trip to Los Angeles since a few club basketball tournaments when he was younger, and he has never set foot on either college campus, so he's looking forward to the opportunity. That said, the recruiting process is mostly on the backburner for him now as he works to get ready for camp season, and he has no set plans for narrowing his list down.
"I haven't actually been talking to too many schools lately," Walker said. "Auburn is actually one of the few new schools that's been talking to me a lot lately. UCLA, USC, and a few others have also been hitting me up. Mostly, I'm just working on improving my game."
His 6'6, 280-pound athletic frame has already earned him a great deal of attention from across the country, but Walker says he wants to add another 30 or 35 pounds and wouldn't mind growing a couple more inches. In addition to the physical improvements, he's also focused on making significant strides in the technical aspect of the game.
"I'm mainly focused on what I can do right now, how I can get better," Walker said. "How I can get more technically sound, how I can get my footwork better, how I can do everything better. I'm focused on getting to college, but more in the sense of making sure I'm ready to play when I arrive."
Asked for a player that he tries to emulate, he has a bit of a controversial choice: former Miami Dolphins' guard Richie Incognito.
"I actually always loved the Richie Incognito played," Walker said. "I don't know how that whole thing is going, but he plays nasty, and I love the way he plays with a mean streak. That's what I try to emulate, and I try to mirror my game to his."
Given his focus on improvement as opposed to the recruiting process, he hasn't yet narrowed down a list of factors he'll consider when looking at the various schools recruiting him.
"Staying home for me would mean a lot, but when it comes down to it, I'm going to do what's best for me and my future," Walker said. "I want to go to a school where I can trust everyone, where everyone has each other's back, and I think that's probably every program. But for every athlete, there's always that one program that clicks and I'm just going to wait for that one program that fits me."
Walker actually moved to Arizona in 8th grade from Indiana, but said with a laugh that there's "no way" he's ever going back to Indiana. Like many of the Arizona prospects over the last two years, though, he's hearing from Texas A&M, which could make College Station a possible visit destination.
"I want to visit both Texas A&M and Auburn at some point," Walker said. "I also want to go visit Washington since it's out West as well. I've been talking to one coach up there and they've been recruiting me pretty hard."
With so many major FBS prospects from Arizona over the last few years, Walker has the ability to pick the brains of many of his predecessors. One former player, in particular, has been an asset in the process.
"I talk to Trevor Wood, who's committed to the University of Arizona," Walker said. "He's like my older brother. He was the first person I ever talked to when I moved to Arizona in 8th grade. He's always had my back, so I know I can get good advice from him throughout the process."
Walker plans to make his decision after his season.
Walker Visiting UCLA This Weekend
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