“I like everything about them,” Walker said about the Terps. “It's close to home. It's got the family feel with the team, the coaching staff. A couple of my friends are going there, my friends over here all want to watch me play for the team. It's like it's home already.”
The rising senior from Edison Friendship Public Charter will join two of his teammates at College Park in 2013. Rising seniors offensive tackle Derwin Gray and linebacker Yannick Ngakoue have also committed to Maryland. There was never a plan amongst the three of them to play at the same school, according to Walker.
“I told myself that I was committing Saturday, that I was committing today and they called me last night and they told me they committed,” Walker said. “I didn't believe them myself, but it's great and we're all going to play together.”
Walker said his decision came down to Maryland, N.C. State and Purdue, but that Maryland was always the leader amongst the pack.
“I was always ready to go to Maryland, personally,” said Walker. “I was told to wait and see what else I get, but it was like I was ready to pull the trigger.”
Walker did not go to any of the Terrapins' football games at College Park but did make the trip to campus a few times to watch the Maryland men's basketball team. He did watch a few of the Terps' football games though, and commented that the new uniforms looked “lovely” and that he liked them.
The outside linebacker said that he does not have a preference for playing on the left side or the right side, and that he should fit right into the Terrapin defense. His team at Edison Friendship had run a 3-5-3 and now runs a 3-4 because they have “so many talented linebackers right now,” according to Walker.
“I'd fit in perfectly with them,” Walker said about the Terp's defense. “My coach goes up there to talk to the Maryland coach about their schemes and ours so I feel like I'd be already ready.”
Walker said that he has had a good relationship with the coaching staff so far and listed them as one of the reasons he decided to come to Maryland.
“I feel like we're on the same page so it's all good and everyone's being cool,” Walker said. “But you know, that's all a part of being recruited, but I think they're going to be the same person afterwards. I'm looking for a good coaching staff, a family feel when I'm there, like everybody is there together like they're brothers and a team.”
The Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland was one of the factors that pushed Walker to commit to Maryland. Walker plans on studying business management and sports management at school and talked about Maryland's exceptional business program.
Walker has been spending the off-season recovering from a fractured foot that forced him to miss his junior season following a sophomore season in which he accumulated 76 tackles and 21 sacks.
“Off-season's going good,” said Walker. “I got back off my injury. Working on my speed, getting to full speed, getting stronger, faster. I'm working on my footwork and also just getting right with the coverages, knowing everything with every position.”
Walker said he looks up to Patrick Willis of the San Francisco 49ers and Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers, two linebackers that have had an enormous amount of success in the National Football League.
“Patrick Willis is always going for the ball and so does Clay Matthews,” Walker said. “They have a motor non-stop. They want to win. They lead their teams to win. Both of them are leaders of their teams. They're kind of young, but they stand up for their team. I like that and I want to be that.”