The Clemson Insider recently caught up with an SEC legacy recruit that Clemson played host to earlier this season.
Hickory (N.C.) High School four-star edge rusher Rico Walker, a highly regarded prospect in the class of 2023, was at Death Valley as an unofficial visitor for the Tigers’ 30-20 victory over Florida State on Oct. 30.
“I enjoyed the game a lot,” Walker told The Clemson Insider. “It got more and more intense as it went on. That was fun to watch.”
Walker’s father, Ricardo, is a native of Darlington, S.C., and was a defensive tackle at Auburn in the 1990s.
Walker, who lists close to 20 scholarship offers, plays defensive end/outside linebacker on defense in addition to seeing action at tight end and wide receiver on the offensive side of the ball. In 11 games as a junior this season, the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder posted 56 total tackles (seven for loss) and seven sacks to go with 12 catches for 131 yards and three receiving touchdowns, according to MaxPreps.
While Rico doesn’t currently hold an offer from Clemson, the Tigers are showing interest, and defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall visited Hickory High earlier this week to check on him.
Walker was able to spend time with Hall and Clemson’s staff when he was on campus for the FSU game.
“They tell me I’m a great player and they are excited to build a relationship,” he said.
Walker told TCI he plans to return to Clemson for another visit at some point and added that he “was definitely amazed by the facilities” while checking them out.
Walker’s offer list features schools such as Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, NC State and North Carolina.
Where do the Tigers stand with Walker at this stage of his recruiting process?
“They’re sitting pretty good,” he said.
Asked what has stood out most to him about Clemson so far, Walker said, “The family type atmosphere.”
Walker is ranked as high as the No. 123 overall prospect in the country for the 2023 class by ESPN. According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, he is the No. 14 edge defender and No. 161 overall prospect in his class.
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