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Josh Walker recruit scouting report: Tough 2014 East Texas linebacker

There's something about East Texas that produces football players with an edge to them.

Josh Walker after a game in 2012
Josh Walker after a game in 2012
GigEmNation (YouTube)

Name: Josh Walker

School and hometown: Gilmer High School in Gilmer, Texas.

Position: Walker projects as an outside linebacker in college, though he also plays some running back for Gilmer.

Height and weight: 6'1 and 220 pounds

Ratings: A consensus four-star prospect, Walker is the no. 16 outside linebacker in the country in the 247Sports Composite rankings and the no. 19 prospect in the state of Texas. In those same rankings, he is the no. 167 player nationally.

Offers: Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech. He committed to Texas A&M in October of 2012.

Twitter: @josh_walker20

Highlights: Walker's junior highlights are available on Hudl.

Scouting report

A 6-1, 220-pounder who projects as an outside linebacker in college, Walker made it onto the radar of major programs in the region after a monster sophomore season that saw him rack up 130 tackles, record nine sacks, and force four fumbles.

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.

Walker's trademark East Texas toughness translates to the defensive side of the ball, where he's a strong striker doesn't give up many yards after contact.

As a junior, Walker mostly played as the end man on the line of scrimmage in a two-point stance, working to control the edges, often able to make plays without having to deal with any blockers, though he does flash to ability to deal with opponents trying to cut him, even if he could stand to use his hands better in those situations.

As a result, he doesn't have a lot of junior film of making traditional linebacker plays lined up off the line of scrimmage and reading and reacting. Since there isn't a lot of evidence of his ability to navigate through traffic and either beat offensive linemen to a spot or show an ability to disengage from them, it could take some time for Walker to adjust at the college level.

However, on one play against Henderson, Walker really flashes by controlling an opponent on the edge trying to block him, using his hand strength to shed the block, then exploding to the quarterback to force an incompletion, showing that first-step quickness in the process.

In backside pursuit down the field, Walker doesn't always operate at full speed, sometimes jogging if he thinks his teammates will make a play instead of running all out towards the ballcarrier, a weakness that often results in giving up extra yardage.

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 and lacks the overall height to keep offensive linemen out of his body, though he does have good arm length.

Overall, Walker is a player who has the potential to be a strong contributor at the college level, but his lack of height makes him a less-than-ideal NFL prospect down the road.

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