Last week, Salisbury (N.C.) four-star linebacker Jalon Walker – a top-50 national prospect in the 2022 class – released a top-six schools list via social media comprised of Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, North Carolina and Ohio State.
Walker, who has collected nearly 30 total scholarship offers, is glad to have narrowed down his recruitment to a small group of schools that he can focus on as he moves forward in the recruiting process.
“It feels good,” he told The Clemson Insider after announcing his short list. “It gives me the chance to focus on these six programs and get more information on what they do.”
Walker, one of the top linebacker targets for Dabo Swinney’s program in the 2022 recruiting cycle, is high on the Tigers and included them in his top group for a couple of reasons in particular.
“Me having a great relationship with the staff and players makes it better,” he said. “They always make me feel welcome every time I was able to visit, also how Coach Swinney carries his program.”
Walker (6-2, 220) has long been on Clemson’s recruiting radar, having participated in Swinney’s high school football camp three summers in a row prior to this past summer when the camps were cancelled because of COVID-19. He most recently visited campus in March to tour the facilities and take in a spring practice before all in-person recruiting was shut down by the NCAA later that month in response to the coronavirus.
While Walker can’t return to Clemson or make recruiting visits to any other school right now due to the ongoing NCAA dead period, which is in effect through at least Jan. 1, he continues to stay in touch with the Tigers’ staff over the phone.
“We talk about how the program and players are not going to just support you while you’re there, but for a lifetime,” Walker said.
From Walker’s perspective, Clemson and the other programs in his top six share something in common that gives them the distinction of being the favorites in his recruitment.
“All schools are great programs who have morals for all players and people a part of their program,” he said, “and each one abides by them to make the program great.”
Looking ahead, Walker, who is in his junior year of high school, says he doesn’t currently have a timetable for when he will render his college decision.
“At this point in my recruitment I don’t know when I will be committing to a school,” he said.
Walker is the No. 2 prospect from North Carolina, No. 2 outside linebacker and No. 41 overall prospect in the 2022 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. ESPN considers him the No. 3 outside linebacker in his class and No. 37 overall prospect regardless of position.
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