Shutdown JC corner sets up official WSU visit

HE PLAYED HIS PREP ball in New Jersey, is starting his final junior college season for the defending champs out west in California and his next step, playing major college football, could very well be in the Pacific Northwest. Shutdown cornerback B.T. Walker holds two Pac-10 offers, has an official visit set up to one of the schools and says he's torn between wanting to wait and see how things play out, and wanting to bite.

Brian Todd Walker, who goes by B.T., holds offers from Washington State and Oregon State, with Rutgers, Arizona, USC, Kansas State, Boston College and Oklahoma all showing him various shades of recruiting love. Washington State and Oklahoma are tied for the lead, with Rutgers, USC and Oregon State also in his top five. The 5-10, 175-pound Walker says he's open to everyone.

"Washington State has shown me a commitment," said Walker. "And I'm really close to committing to them. But I think right now it would be best if I'd be patient, play my cards right. I really want to bite, you know. But my family is telling me to be patient and focus on school and the season and stay focused on my goals."

Schools are recruiting Walker at corner with some also eyeing him as a return man. WSU has talked to Walker about playing cornerback, returning kicks and also playing a little bit of offense.

"I don't think the DB coach wants to give me up, though," laughed Walker. "He made that clear."

Walker said his mother would prefer if he'd play closer to home in New Jersey, while his father is telling him wherever he goes is fine. Walker said his father is also high on Washington State.

Mark Banker and the coaches at Oregon State are also charging hard after Walker.

"Oregon State is another great option, so I'll have to see what happens," said Walker. "Looking at their press book, I was just impressed overall. I think Oregon is a great state and Oregon State is up and coming. The Pac-10 is up and coming."

Walker said he hopes to trip out to Corvallis this fall.

It will be difficult however, for Walker to take many visits during the season. College of the Canyons also play on Saturdays -- that leaves one opening during the bye week. That weekend of October 8, Walker will trip to Pullman.

WALKER-TO WALKER: Washington State assistant coach Mike Walker is spearheading the Cougars' recruitment of JC prospect B.T. Walker.

WALKER WILL GRADUATE in December and is therefore eligible for spring ball -- a big plus. Mike Walker is the WSU coach who is recruiting Walker. Cornerback is a prime need for the Cougars in the 2006 class --- and a JUCO corner who can challenge right away for playing time is most attactive.

"Coach Walker, it's not even where we talk about football at this point," said B.T.. "We just talk about how our day is going. And with the schedule now, with them playing against Auburn, it's like 'Wow, I could open up against Auburn.' They're telling me if I come in for springtime, I'll have a really good chance to start and that's all I really need -- just the opportunity. I'll let my hard work speak for itself."

B.T. also spoke to Walker after the Cougs' win at Nevada.

"Washington State looked good against Nevada," he said. "I was impressed with Michael Bumpus. Once again, they told me they're looking for the type of corner that can come in and make plays...and Oklahoma is looking for some corners too."

THE OPPORTUNITY to earn early playing time, the type of defense run, the competition and the makeup of the coaching staff will be important to Walker, who will have two years to play two after a redshirt year playing wide receiver at Northeastern University.

"I'd rather play against tough competition," said Walker. "I want to work on things because I don't feel I'm complete -- competition is going to get me better. And if they have minorities in the coaching staff. I believe different cultures make a better team and that's what football is all about, that and winning."

COLLEGE OF THE CANYONS is 2-0, the defending JC national champion and ranked No. 1 in several polls. Walker has been a force in the secondary this year, tallying 4.5 tackles and three pass breakups in the opener, and five tackles with two more pass breakups in the 32-22 win over No. 4 rated Grossmont Saturday. Walker and a stout defense surrendered only eight points, as 14 of Grossmont's points came on kick returns.

Walker spent his prep days starring for Don Bosco Prep and Hackensack High in New Jersey.

Last season, Walker made his JC debut at Ventura, notching 50 tackles, 15 pass breakups and three interceptions. He was selected second-team all-conference before transferring to College of the Canyons.

B.T. Walker

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