In November, priority Clemson target Jalon Walker, a four-star linebacker from Salisbury, N.C., released a top six that included the Tigers along with Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, North Carolina and Ohio State.
The Clemson Insider recently caught up with Walker, a consensus top-70 national prospect in the 2022 class who remains in contact with coaches from most of the aforementioned programs.
“Of right now I have been talking to North Carolina, Clemson, Georgia, Alabama and Ohio State,” he said.
Walker has long been on Clemson’s radar, having worked out at the Dabo Swinney Football Camp in three consecutive summers prior to last summer when Swinney’s camps were cancelled due to COVID-19.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound junior communicates with the majority of Clemson’s defensive staff, but has been in contact most frequently with defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Venables.
“He’s been very patient and understands how I want to go through my process,” Walker said, “and he is excited and fired up about me.”
Walker has been squarely in Clemson’s sights as a top target for quite some time, but the Tigers have turned up the heat in their pursuit of him even more recently, with Swinney himself getting into the recruiting action.
Swinney and Walker have spoken a couple of times lately, most recently via a phone conversation last week, when Clemson’s head coach had a clear message for the Tar Heel State standout.
“He said whenever I’m ready he would love to have me a part of his program,” Walker said.
Walker made an unofficial visit to Clemson last March before on-campus recruiting was shut down by the NCAA because of coronavirus concerns, and he also made the short trip to Charlotte to take in the Tigers’ ACC Championship Game victory over Notre Dame in December.
When Walker considers Clemson as one of his college choices, a couple of things stand out to him above all else.
“Clemson brings out a great product and sets you up to be a great person after football,” he said.
Moving forward, Walker says he is unsure when or if he will further narrow down his list of top schools, or whether he will just wait until he feels the time is right and then go ahead and pull the trigger on his commitment.
Regardless, Clemson is in a good spot with Walker at this point in his recruitment.
“I think the Tigers stand high because of the way the program is made,” he said, “and the people who are a part of the program.”
According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Walker is the No. 2 prospect from North Carolina, No. 4 outside linebacker nationally and No. 46 overall prospect in the 2022 class.