A priority Clemson defensive line target in the 2019 class visited Death Valley for the Auburn game last Saturday and walked away very impressed by the performance of the ACC’s Tigers.
Thomaston (Ga.) Upson-Lee four-star defensive end Travon Walker was among the prospects on hand for Clemson’s 14-6 victory, in which the defense compiled 11 sacks and 14 tackles for loss.
Walker spoke with The Clemson Insider and tipped his cap to defensive line coach Todd Bates and Clemson’s defensive staff.
“With them having 11 sacks, that shows that the coaching is there,” Walker said. “That’s what you’re mainly there for is to get your education and coaching, so that just shows a lot about the coaching staff and the position coaches, coach Bates.”
Walker (6-4, 240) was offered by Clemson in January and previously visited for a day during the Dabo Swinney Camp in June. He and his parents were chauffeured around campus on a golf cart and toured the new facility with recruiting operations coordinator Ty Clements.
They loved what they saw then, and this time around, Walker got his first taste of Clemson’s game-day atmosphere.
“It was a great experience, especially for a night game,” he said. “It showed me a lot about the atmosphere and how the fan base was going to be.”
Before the game, Walker caught up with Bates, defensive coordinator Brent Venables and other members of Clemson’s coaching staff.
“I talked to just about all the coaches except for the offensive coaches,” he said.
Bates reemphasized to Walker that he would have a chance to contribute immediately at Clemson should he choose to go there.
“Coach Bates always stresses to me that most of the players will be leaving by the time I come in,” Walker said, “so that would raise my chances of getting playing time if I put in the work to earn the playing time.”
Walker’s offer sheet includes Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina, Tennessee and others.
Georgia is likely to get a visit from Walker next weekend, and he could return to Clemson later this season as well.
“Right now I know I’ll probably be attending the Georgia-Mississippi State game,” he said. “Other than that, I’m not really sure what other games I’ll be attending, but I know I’m going to get to a couple games not too far away.”
Walker said he is looking to narrow down his recruitment after the season.
He is ranked by Rivals as a top-five defensive end and top-50 overall prospect in the 2019 class.