Walker Moves to Cali, Gets Recruited

When Brent Walker moved to Norco from Ohio, he did it to get a better education, but the 6-5, 300-pounder then played some football and now college programs are recruiting him aggressively, including one Pac-10 school that just offered him...

Norco (Calif.) is known as one of the best running teams in California. Last year's Heisman runner-up was a Norco alum, Toby Gerhart. In 2009, the Cougars had one running back sign with Arizona State and their number two running back, a class of 2011 prospect, is already committed to Stanford.

But every good running back will tell you he's only as good as his line. And Norco has been cranking out great offensive lineman, including three currently at Arizona State.

So when Brent Walker moved to the Inland Empire from Ohio before his junior year, head coach Todd Gerhart found another stellar lineman he could plug in, and that led to the Cougars winning the Big VIII title behind a vaunted running game with Deantre Lewis (Arizona State) and Kelsey Young (Stanford).

Walker, a 6-5, 300-pound tackle, has three scholarship offers, and interest from several more schools.

"I have been offered by UCLA, Arizona State, Colorado State and then a couple of smaller schools in the MAC have been interested," said Walker. "Most schools want me as a right tackle, but UCLA is saying they want me as a left tackle."

Walker didn't know much about the Cougar tradition of running the ball, but with Toby Gerhard receiving national acclaim for his exploits at Stanford, his coach, Toby's father, indoctrinated him on the Cougar offense.

"Last year was my first year at Norco, and I moved out here for a good education, not for football," said Walker. "I felt like I could be more focused out here with my uncle. But I never expected football to go like it did. I didn't really know until I got here that I could play football beyond high school, so I started to pursue football a little more. It helped a lot, me deciding to play football, get transitioned."

Now feeling like a native Californian, Walker is hoping to continue his career out West.

"I'm looking to stay on the West Coast, unless Ohio State offered, because that was my dream school going up," said Walker. "But even still, I like it out here."

Walker said one school in particular is standing out and another is making headway.

"UCLA is at the top of my list right now," said Walker. "USC is also really interested, and said they liked what they saw of me, so an offer could be coming from them, too."

He's also hoping to make a decision before fall. "I'd like to commit early if I can," said Walker.

Walker said his versatility is something that has drawn college coaches. "I might have to move down to guard in college, but I'm ready for anything that I have to do when I select my college," said Walker. "I'm really versatile and I think that helps me."

With the Cougars offense expected to churn out yards again this fall, Walker is excited for another season in the trenches.

"It makes my job a lot easier when you block for a second and the running back is gone, but it also makes you work harder," said Walker. "Now, knowing that Kelsey is a great back, we want to help each other succeed. When he's only your second best running back behind Deantre Lewis, that is really scary."

Academically, Walker said he has a 2.8 and will take the SAT and ACT in the fall.

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