Clayton Walker, 6-4, 270, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Horizon, is a prospect that hasn't been mentioned much by recruiting services, but he's quietly made a name for himself as one of the most-sought offensive line prospects on the west coast.
"Yeah, a while ago, it was only really a few schools that were recruiting me," Walker said. "But this season, more schools have gotten to see me, mostly on tape. And then I started getting more attention."
And that's exactly how it happened in the case of UCLA and Walker. Walker says, "UCLA started recruiting me about a month ago. They hadn't seen any film before, and then we sent it to them, and they offered me as soon as they saw it."
Walker right now prefers Washington since he said, among other things, they were the first to really recruit him hard. "Washington is my favorite since they gave me my first offer. I really like the Washington coaches. They seem like really nice coaches. I'm really looking forward to taking my trip there."
Walker said, also, that UCLA is currently running second for his services, and there are a number of schools "all tied for third." Among those other schools are Arizona State, Arizona, Washington State, Oregon State, Colorado State and Wyoming. Walker said that all have offered but Arizona State. "I think they just want me to visit so they can offer me then," he said.
Walker's Horizon team will be playing in the state semi-finals this weekend, and having gone so deep into the playoffs has kept his official trip schedule up in the air. "Washington wants me to visit on the weekend of December 7th, or the 14th. I haven't set it for sure. UCLA could be this weekend coming up, or maybe one of the weekends that I don't go to Washington. Or I might visit Oregon State one of those weekends. I do have Colorado State arranged for the first weekend in January and ASU the weekend after. But that could change, too. I might visit Arizona, Washington State and Wyoming, and set them up for later, but I don't know."
Walker said he's particularly looking forward to his UCLA trip. "Besides Washington, that's the one I'm also really looking forward to," Walker said.
UCLA assistant coach Gary Bernardi is recruiting Walker, and he said Coach Bernardi had indicated that he would call Walker last night (Sunday) and that they could possibly arranged the visit for this weekend. He'd come in on Saturday, after his game on Friday.
Coaches are also starting to make the trip to Scottsdale to visit Walker at his home. "I had one tonight with Washington. It went great. The coach was here for 3 or 4 hours and had dinner. On Monday (today) an Arizona coach is coming to meet with my coach. I know that Coach Bernardi from UCLA will be coming in the first week of December."
Walker grew up in Southern California, in La Mirada, and then moved to Arizona in the 7th grade. He said he still has quite a bit of family in Southern California. "It would be comfortable to be in Southern California for college," he said. "Arizona is home now, but with a lot of family living in the L.A. area it'd be kind of like home. I'll admit it, I was a UCLA fan growing up. I grew up watching UCLA."
Good academics and coaches are important, but Walker said the primary factor in his decision will be how successful the program is. "I want to go to winning program. It really sucks to lose. Our high school had its first losing team in 20 years last year and it was hard."
When could he make his decision? "I don't know. If I find the right campus, the right school, I could commit. I'd like to take as many trips as possible to see all of the schools. But right now I want to concentrate on winning the state championship. I need to take care of business."
Walker has taken care of business in the classroom to get qualified, carrying a 3.0 GPA and having scored a 970 on his SAT.Clayton Walker Database Player Profile