Jalon Walker, a four-star linebacker from Salisbury (N.C.) High School, grew up a Clemson fan while living in Conway, S.C., when his dad, Curtis, was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Coastal Carolina (2002-2011).
So, Walker was naturally very happy when he received an offer from Clemson on June 1 and became one of the first class of 2022 recruits to collect an offer from the Tigers.
Defensive coordinator Brent Venables informed Walker of the offer.
“I felt great,” Walker said. “(Venables said) that I have earned it and he was happy to share the moment with me.”
“I’m very blessed and honored to be one of their first priorities,” he added.
Walker, who camped at Clemson each of the last three summers, has been on Venables’ radar for quite some time.
Venables sees the 6-foot-3, 205-pound rising junior as a versatile linebacker who can play all over the field on defense.
“I am an athletic, hybrid-type backer, so being able to run in space and cover,” Walker said of what he could bring to the table for the Tigers.
Not only did Walker root for Clemson during his childhood, but he also has a connection to one of the program’s current players in redshirt sophomore defensive end K.J. Henry.
Walker’s father has been the head coach at Catawba College in Salisbury since 2012, and Henry’s father, Keith, served as the defensive coordinator on Walker’s father’s staff from 2013-16.
“I have known K.J. for a while now, and when I go to Clemson, I see him and I see him as a brother to me,” Walker said of his relationship with Henry. “He shows how much work they put in, and he is always welcoming if I need to know anything.”
Along with Clemson, Walker’s list of nearly 20 Power Five offers includes in-state schools Duke, North Carolina, NC State and Wake Forest as well as Auburn, Ohio State, Texas, Texas A&M, Oregon, South Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Michigan State and Arizona State.
Where do the Tigers stand in Walker’s recruitment right now after throwing their hat in the ring with an offer?
“I am still not sure just because of it being an early stage,” he said, “but they are in the running.”
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