Clemson offer was one North Carolina edge rusher 'really wanted to have'

Clemson offer was one North Carolina edge rusher 'really wanted to have'

Recruiting

Clemson offer was one North Carolina edge rusher 'really wanted to have'

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Lemanski Hall and Wes Goodwin phoned a four-star pass-rusher, who the Tigers had previously been keeping tabs on.

They had good news for Hickory (N.C.) High School 2023 edge Rico Walker, who announced a scholarship offer from the Tigers on social media Tuesday.

Walker’s father, Ricardo, is a native of Darlington, S.C., and was a defensive tackle at Auburn in the 1990s.

“I was so happy. I was so excited,” Walker told The Clemson Insider in a phone interview Tuesday. “It was one of the offers that I was definitely wanting to have, for sure.”

Goodwin, Clemson’s defensive coordinator and linebacker’s coach, texted Walker on Monday — the day before the Tigers offered him — they were just choppin it up, getting to know one another. 

Little did Walker know that he’d have an offer in hand the following day.

“He’s pretty chill,” Walker said of Goodwin. “He’s pretty cool. I can’t wait to meet him in person.”

Walker could have the opportunity to meet Goodwin in person for Clemson’s Elite Junior Day on Jan. 29. The Tigers invited him to come and he’s going to do his best to make an appearance, but is unsure of what his schedule may look like due to other visits in the month of January.

The last time Walker was in Clemson, he was in attendance as an unofficial for the team’s 30-20 win over Florida State on Oct. 30. Walker was able to spend time with Hall and Clemson’s staff when he was on campus for the FSU game.

Hall visited Hickory High multiple times in the month of December and spent some time with Walker’s head coach.

“We’re pretty cool,” Walker said of his relationship with Hall. “He’s a real cool dude. He’s real chill, man. He checks up on me a lot.”

Where does Clemson currently stand in his recruitment?

“Everybody right now standing good with me,” he said. “I am planning on dropping my top schools soon, but they are pretty good though.”

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.

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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