Sean Walker: Ready to step up

He burst on the scene in 2006 as a key backup and made the huge scoring catch to help beat Georgia in Athens. During the spring while other open starting positions were hotly contested, the battle for now graduated Marlon White's position had a clear leader. Sean Walker expects to help his team in 2007 and head coach Bobby Johnson has high expectations also.

It's October 14, 2006 and Vanderbilt is clinging to a late third quarter 14-13 lead over heavily favored Georgia at historic Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga.

Vanderbilt has moved to the Bulldog 35-yard-line and the Commodores badly need another score to maintain their momentum. On 2nd and 10 quarterback Chris Nickson lofts a beautiful pass down the right sideline and into a streaking Sean Walker's arms. Walker then scampers 35 yards to pay dirt giving Vanderbilt a 21-13 lead over Georgia, whom they would go on to beat.

Walker finished the 2006 season with 21 catches for an impressive 313 yards. Although Walker was probably the team's second most explosive wide receiver behind All-Everything Earl Bennett, he played in the shadows of veterans George Smith and Marlon White in addition to Bennett.

With the graduation of White, expect Walker to move into the third starting position. Is Walker ready to take over the third spot? Ask Walker for his thoughts and he'll tell you he's only concerned with helping the team, "I'm just trying to do what I can to help my team to get over the hump and get to a bowl game. Wherever they need me I'm going to move in there whether it's to help with special teams or at the third receiver spot," said the Elementary Education major.

Head coach Bobby Johnson is hoping Walker will take some of the heat off Bennett while making some big plays himself, "We are counting on Sean to be one of our top receivers. I think Sean has the speed and explosiveness to warrant extra coverage and take the attention off of Earl all the time. Sean is a very key player for us for that reason and to make big plays himself."

During the spring Vanderbilt wide receivers as well as the entire team worked hard to improve their speed, "We broke so many records over the spring," said Walker. Walker, who claims to be the fastest Commodore on this year's roster, also worked hard to improve on his catching ability and vision after the catch.

Can Walker fill the void left by Marlon White? Will a faster, more explosive Walker help propel the 2007 Commodores into a bowl game? It's a challenge that we think Walker is ready to take on.

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