MOBILE, Ala. — Georgia football outside linebacker D’Andre Walker left an impression last August that carried over to Monday’s opening Reese’s Senior Bowl press conference.
That says a lot, considering Walker wasn’t able to make the trip to practice and play in the annual all-star game on account of a nagging groin injury.
The Senior Bowl takes place at 2:30 p.m. (TV: NFL Network) at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy, previously the Southeast regional scout for the Seattle Seahawks, praised Walker profusely and bemoaned his absence.
“D’Andre was a guy, for me, going back to the scouting process at Seattle, you’re putting on tape last year watching (Davin) Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter, and to me, 15 (Walker) should have been playing over both of those guys,” Nagy said.
Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders staff is coaching the North team, and Kyle Shanahan and his San Francisco 49ers staff will coach the South, which includes former Georgia players Jonathan Ledbetter and Nick Moore.
Bulldogs’ All-American cornerback Deandre Baker, a projected first-round pick, was invited to play in the Senior Bowl but declined.
Baker, of course, also skipped playing in the Sugar Bowl.
Walker, however, accepted his invitation to play and Nagy though he was a go until hearing from Walker’s agent last Thursday.
It did nothing to diminish Nagy’s respect for the Bulldogs’ sack leader.
“Every time he was on the field he was disruptive,” Nagy said. “If you did a per play disruption …. every time the guy stepped on the field, he was making something happen.
“I was in Athens in August, and there was group of scouts that day they scrimmaged, and I was busting at the seams to offer him that day. He was a guy that excited me and I was bummed to lose him.”