Safety Has High Regard for UCLA

Avery Walls, the 5-11, 190-pound defensive back from McDonough, Georgia, who was just named the MVP of 7-on-7, talked about his unofficial trip out west in spring, specifically about visiting UCLA...


Avery Walls, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound three-star safety from Union Grove High School in McDonough, Ga., says he still hasn't narrowed down his choices from among the 31 total offers he already has.

"I'm looking to narrowing down my list by the end of summer," said Walls, who expects to graduate in December. "I want to feel like I fit in at the school and I want to have a good relationship with the coaches.

"I also want to play early," he said.

Although he still denies a leader, during the spring Walls visited Tennessee, Stanford, California, USC, UCLA and Georgia. All of those have offered, except USC and Georgia.

"Georgia filled all their safety spots," he said. "I think they had like two safeties commit during the junior day.

"USC hasn't offered yet either, but they are recruiting me," he said. "When I was down there they hadn't even evaluated my tape, so I'm still waiting on them to do that."

Walls says that if the Trojans did offer him, he would consider them. He also admits that he hasn't followed the recent USC saga with the NCAA. "I read an article on ESPN about it and it really doesn't sound like it would affect me too much," he said. "It's only two years (bowl ban) and that starts now, so it would really only be one bowl game that I'd miss."

While in Los Angeles, Walls also visited USC's cross-town rival, UCLA. "The campus was really beautiful," he said about the Bruins. "I really liked the coaches too. Coach Rick Neuheisel was the first one to greet me and they're all really excited and enthusiastic.

"The program is on-the-rise," he said about UCLA. "I'm wondering how the fans are gonna respond to the team this season and especially with what's going on at USC. It could make the rivalry even better."

Of course, USC and UCLA aren't the only Pac-10 schools that Walls is considering. Both California and Stanford have offered him as well.

"They were great," he said. "They both have great academics. I like how balanced those two schools are…great athletics and great academics."

But Walls admits he was disappointed by the weather in Northern California. "They were saying how nice the weather was," he said. "But when I was there it rained for two days. But it was still nice. The weather cleared up and overall I really liked Northern Cal."

Walls also attended a spring game at Tennessee. "They looked pretty good," he said. "They had like 40,000 people there and it was a lively experience."

He is also friends with running back Rajion Neal, who signed with the Vols in February. "It's cool that he goes there," he said. "He's talked to me about Tennessee a little and gives me advice on recruiting. He had a big senior year and blew up pretty quickly."

Walls, ranked as the No. 25 safety in the country by Scout.com, also has offers from Wisconsin, Purdue, Auburn, Duke, Wake Forest, Virginia, Vanderbilt, North Carolina, Northwestern, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, UCF and East Carolina, among others.

He says that all are recruiting equally hard.

Walls recently participated at a seven-on-seven camp at South Carolina. He won the camp MVP award after scoring five touchdowns on offense and getting three interceptions on defense.

He does not plan on attending any other camps this summer, nor will he be visiting any other schools.

Growing up, Walls followed Ohio State because his mom was a Buckeye. "I used to like them a lot," he said. Ohio State, however, has not offered. "I think they've filled their spots too."

Walls finished his junior season with 104 tackles, 13 pass break ups, four interceptions and two fumbles caused. He also scored a touchdown off of a recovered fumble.

"I'm not 6-foot-2, but I play like I'm 6-4," he said. "I used to play hockey, so I love running up to people and hitting them. I'm tough. I'm also very versatile and can play cornerback too."

He says he can bench 275-pounds, squat 405 and has a 36-inch vertical jump.

"I want to improve my ball skills," he said. "I'd like to be more flexible and my hips, so I can change direction even faster."

Walls plans to major in business/entrepreneurship and reports a 3.3 core GPA. He took the SAT on June 5 and ACT on June 12.


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