Walker runs to Pullman next month

RECEIVING HELP FOR the Cougars is coming sooner rather than later in the form of Greg Walker, set to enroll at Washington State this January. Walker, who did a prep turn at the same high school as Michael Bumpus, now stands 6-foot-4. He said he's counting the hours until he arrives at WSU, with designs on hitting the ground running.

The Cougs will need to replace graduating WRs Trandon Harvey, Marty Martin and Greg Prator in 2006, while Jason Hill continues to mull a decision on whether to enter the draft or return for his senior season at WSU. Walker is well aware of the opportunity that beckons.

"I'm hoping to start, we'll see," said Walker. "I might be one of the tallest ones out there so I have a little advantage. It's just that weight (180 pounds) that's a challenge."

Walker has spent the past several months hitting the weights, running through a variety of drills, playing basketball, running -- you name it -- anything to add muscle and mass.

"Every day, every day I'm doing something," said Walker. "I'm on a weight program."

WALKER, WHO BECAME a Cougar last March with a big assist from former Culver City teammate Michael Bumpus, took this past semester to obtain a qualifying test score and bulk up a bit. He has received the thumbs up from the NCAA Clearinghouse.

"Oh yeah, I'm cleared," said Walker. "It feels great knowing I'm going."

At the time this article was published, Walker will be headed to Pullman to begin January classes at WSU in 16 days. Well, T-minus 15 days and 17 hours to be precise.

"I leave at 8 o'clock," laughed Walker.

He'll arrive in Pullman in much the same way receiver Benny Ward did last January. As a mid-year enrollee, Walker will be able to get acclimated to college coursework before the bulk of his 2006 classmates still in high school arrive this coming July for the fall semester. Plus, he'll have the distinct advantage of going through the Cougars' spring session.

"I have a whole spring ball session -- I'm lucky," said Walker.

Coaches Kelly Skipper and Mike Levenseller came by the house last week and visited with the Walker family.

A LATE BLOOMER on the field who burst onto the scene his senior year, Walker was a bit get for WSU according to his prep coach.

"He's one of the best receivers I've coached and I've been doing this for 25 years," says University head man E.C. Robinson. "With all the talent that he has -- he has the speed, the hands, the quickness. And he has a knack of going up and coming down with the football."

"If he sticks to it and really works at it -- like he's been doing -- he can one day be playing on Sundays," Robinson added.

WALKER TRANSFERRED FROM Culver City to University High after his sophomore season and didn't play his junior year. Also hindering his college recruitment last year, his senior tape went out late.

With a 40 time in the 4.4 to 4.5 range, Walker capped his senior season at University with 49 catches for 1355 yards -- an average of over 100 yards a game -- and 8 TDs. Walker also racked up 60 tackles (44 solo) from his safety spot on defense.

University assistant coach Derrick Hill has mentored Walker since his Pop Warner days, and says he could have put up even greater stats if University had ran more of a passing offense, with Walker spending Friday nights his senior year pretty much dominating opposing cornerbacks.

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