Hickory (N.C.) athlete Rico Walker (pictured right) received his first scholarship offer from South Carolina in June before adding another offer from North Carolina earlier this month.
Only a rising sophomore in the class of 2023, Walker (6-4, 215) was surprised by the early offers but is grateful to already have a couple under his belt.
“It was real shocking to get those offers,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting to get them this early. But it was a blessing, and hopefully I can get a lot more.”
NC State and Auburn have hosted Walker for unofficial visits, while Wake Forest is among other schools showing interest.
Walker is on Clemson’s radar, as well, and he is certainly interested in Dabo Swinney’s program.
“It would really be an honor to get an offer from Clemson,” Walker said. “I’ve heard good things about them. I looked up some things about them, saw some things about Dabo Swinney. I see how they treat their players, and I’ve heard a lot of good things about them.”
Walker is an Auburn legacy recruit as his father, Ricardo, a native of Darlington, S.C., was a defensive tackle for the SEC’s Tigers in the 1990s.
As you would expect from a former college football player, Ricardo is a big help to his son as he goes through the recruiting process himself now.
“He’s been keeping my head level, making sure I’m not trying to get out of hand with certain things, making sure I stay focused and not to buy in super heavy into colleges right now because I’m so young,” Walker said. “But he’s helped me out a lot. I’m thankful to have him around in this situation.”
Auburn was naturally Walker’s dream school growing up, but now he is trying to look at schools through a neutral lens as a recruit.
“Now, I really don’t have any dream school since all this is happening right now,” he said.
Walker plays wide receiver and outside linebacker for his high school team and expects to see some action at safety this season, too.
South Carolina offered Walker as an athlete, while North Carolina likes him as a defensive player but has expressed the intent to evaluate him on the offensive side of the ball in the fall as well.
“I feel like I can play as a D-I wide receiver,” he said. “Everybody said my ticket was for defense, but I feel like I’m going to play on both sides of the ball.”
Not only is Walker very gifted from a physical standpoint, but he has a good mental grasp of the game of football as well.
“I recognize things,” he said. “I’m a smart football player. I’m not just an athletic player but I’m smart. I can see things, and I’ve just got a high IQ when it comes to football.”
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