The atmosphere at Kyle Field for the LSU-Texas A&M game made a major impression on at least one prospect, as Gilmer (TX) linebacker Josh Walker opted to end his recruitment and pledge to the Aggies after his weekend visit.
It may not be far into his junior season, but Walker's stock was starting to take off in recent weeks, with offers from Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas Tech. He had planned on visiting OU and Texas prior to giving his commitment to new A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin.
A 6-1, 220-pounder who projects as an outside linebacker in college, Walker is an early four-star prospect who should move up in the state rankings after his junior season. A monster sophomore season that saw him rack up 130 tackles, nine sacks, and force four fumbles put him squarely on the radar of major programs around the region.
However, Walker grew up an A&M fan in East Texas and liked the fact that College Station is close to home. A longtime fan of the SEC conference, the new home for the Aggies seemingly made his decision that much easier.
With listed 4.54 speed in the 40 and a 30-inch vertical, Walker has athleticism that shows up on both sides of the ball in high school. As a productive running back for Gilmer, Walker is impressive in his ability to quickly reach top speed, all while showing a decisiveness to the hole and a willingness to take on defenders and pick up extra yards after contact.
Had he opted to play in the Big 12 with Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech, or another school, Walker's speed would have played well against spread teams. Heading to the SEC, with the conference's emphasis on running between the tackles, the East Texas product still projects as an effective linebacker because he does play with the trademark toughness of that region as a physical tackler who can lay the wood and finish plays.
Long and lean, Walker has the frame to eventually play at close to 240 pounds, so there is a chance that he could become a pass-rushing specialist like his idol, former A&M star Von Miller, though Walker will likely maintain his speed at that size to stay at linebacker.
Walker is the second commit for the Aggies, who also remain in the lead for one of the state's top prospects, La Porte (TX) linebacker Hoza Scott, who plans on making his decision in December after the conclusion of his junior season.