Would you like to receive DawgNation news alerts? Excellent! News alerts will be displayed in your browser.
Jeff Sentell/DawgNation
Rising senior Travon Walker finished eighth in the shot put this season, despite that sport being No. 3 on his list of favorites.

How nation’s No. 3 DT, UGA target Travon Walker views his upcoming decision

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. This week will feature a lot of 5-stars this week on DawgNation. We lead off Monday with a fresh update on 5-star defensive tackle target Travon Walker.

Travon Walker smiles. A lot.

He gets that from his mom. His father, Stead, does not smile. He was the one trying to pump up his son at the Georgia High School Association Class 3A state track meet.

Walker didn’t throw his best. Part of the reason might have been the lopsided spring football-to-shot put practice ratio he had leading up to the state meet. Walker said he had very little prep.

Travon Walker-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting-Georgia football recruiting
Travon Walker is one of the most important targets for the Bulldogs in 2019. He also rates as the nation’s No. 25 overall prospect. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

While he competed, his mother was on the opposite edge of the pit. Cheering. Watching. Smiling.

“He gets that from me,” Lasonia Walker said.

To be fair, the shot put is likely his third-best varsity sport. In football, the 247Sports composite ranks the Thomaston (Ga.) Upson-Lee standout as the No. 3 defensive tackle and No. 25 overall prospect for 2019.

DawgNation rates the 5-star prospect as the biggest remaining uncommitted Bulldogs target in this class.

The 6-foot-5, 270-pound prospect is also a two-time defending state basketball champion, averaging about 13 points, 12 rebounds and about 3-4 blocks.

And even more smiles.

“I’m proud that he remains humble through all of this process and doesn’t get the big head,” his mother said. “This recruiting stuff can be a burden sometimes but I do think he looks at it as a blessing for him.”

Travon Walker-UGA recruiting-UGA football-Georgia football-Georgia football recruiting
Travon Walker rates as the nation’s No. 3 defensive tackle prospect on the 247Sports composite. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

This is the part where all of this sounds like the perfunctory recruiting interview.

“I’m looking at this as a selfish decision on my part,” he said. “I look at it as the school that will help me do what I do so I can do what I need to do and then provide a better life for my family. They’ve done so much for me. I want to take care of them when I can, too.”

He’s the sort that doesn’t need a helicopter parent watching over his back. In fact, he might be the one doing more than his fair share of that with his folks.

“He wants to be our personal guardian,” Stead Walker said. “For both of us. He tries to be our parent. … We have a curfew with him.”

Walker wants to take care of his parents down the road and yet he already watches over and worries about them now.

His mother reaffirmed that — he tries to put those size-16 feet down.

“He keeps us in check,” she said. “He is very mature for his age.”

A few things to know about the Travon Walker decision

His mother thinks that he is getting pretty close to a decision, perhaps July or August.

“I think he might want to go into his senior year with a clear mind and then focus on his high school team,” Stead Walker said.

Travon Walker-UGA recruiting-UGA football-Georgia football-Georgia football recruiting
Travon Walker (middle) keeps a pretty close watch on his family. His mother Lasonia (left) and father Stead have noticed. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

The same top 4 schools are vying for his services: Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and South Carolina.

“This stuff really isn’t that easy,” Travon Walker said. “People think it is easy but it is still not that easy.”

Those schools are all still bunched up in his mind. It sounds like he hasn’t begun to start separating them out yet.

He said he recently picked up offers from Miami and Notre Dame, but he hasn’t put those out on his social media yet.

Walker says that chase is very close and he doesn’t even have an unnamed leader at this time. No internal leader. He contends the decision has not yet been made.

He also feels it will come sometime between the beginning and the median of his senior season.

Walker should be able to enroll early. But he might not. There’s the chance for him to play another season of basketball at Upson-Lee. He could then walk with his graduating class.

His parents are very mature people, but it sounds like he will continue to try to hover over them.

“I guess you could say that,” Travon Walker said. “I do try to watch out for them.”

There are other goals there, too.

“He’s been an A-B student for the all three years of high school and we hope he can pull out four years there and be an honor graduate,” Lasonia Walker said. “He’s headed that way.”

Travon Walker-UGA recruiting-UGA football-Georgia football-Georgia football recruiting
Travon Walker said when he takes time to chill, he does play the mega-popular video game Fortnite on the weekend. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

He learned that at an early age back in middle school. A bad grade meant he couldn’t play basketball.

The resulting correction was he had to sit the bench on that squad. Walker thought the coach was joking with him.

“But he brought that grade up quick,” his mother said. “We haven’t had a problem with him and his grades since.”

The 5-star recruit has a simple reason for why he plays three sports.

“I just don’t like to come straight home after school,” he said.

He doesn’t have any mid-May or June visits figured out yet. No officials are set yet.

The one thing Travon Walker is sure about right now

Travon Walker said he will likely take some official visits before his decision. But then that will be it.

“When I commit, I will be done,” Walker said as he always does in a very deep voice. “I will wait to commit until I know the school and why I want to go commit. Why wait to commit any more if you already know and you are ready? Once I know that I want to go to my school, then I will have no reason to go visit any other places.”

Travon Walker-UGA recruiting-UGA football-Georgia football-Georgia football recruiting
Travon Walker is working on a tattoo on his right arm to honor his grandmother. Still a work in progress, the script reads “Forever Missed Never Forgotten” right now. This one will honor his great-grandmother Essie Mae Walker. She passed away in 2008. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Walker said that 5-star UGA commitment Nolan Smith is recruiting him for two things. The long-term pitch is to join him in Athens.

The short-term idea is to come play their senior seasons together at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

“I don’t know about that,” Walker said while noting that he wasn’t ready to give up watching over his parents just yet.

He also said that it seems like Georgia is coming after him even harder these days.

“You don’t find too many schools that their coach who is trying to recruit you will get on the phone with you every night or every other night,” Walker said.

The coach doing a lot of that for Georgia is Kirby Smart. Walker estimates that he’s had approximately six extended conversations with him. Those chats are never about football.

“They are more about life and my life and my education,” he said.

The third-year Bulldogs coach is the most active head coach in his recruiting. Walker feels Alabama coach Nick Saban and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney are only like that at times.

“I hear from those guys maybe twice a week or maybe once a week,” Travon Walker said.

Smith is the major peer recruiter for Georgia. Austin Bryant and Christian Wilkins are his sources to find out how things really are at Clemson. The ambassador for Alabama is Raekwon Davis.

Another big announcement date for another 2019 5-star prospect

Did you see the latest news regarding 5-star linebacker prospect Brandon Smith? Well, he’s made a couple of trips to UGA in the last cycle.

Brandon Smith-UGA recruiting
Brandon Smith now rates as the nation’s No. 2 inside linebacker for 2019. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

RELATED: Get to know UGA target Brandon Smith 

He’s also established a commitment date for later this month. I do think the Bulldogs are a contender here, but I don’t think they should be seen as the favorite.

Smith ranks as the nation’s No. 2 inside linebacker and the nation’s No. 30 overall prospect on the 247Sports composite for this cycle. He’s said before he really liked the Bulldogs and he could see himself at UGA. 

On the flip side, the Louisa County (Mineral, Va.) standout has picked up seven consecutive 247Sports Crystal Ball picks to Penn State since May 8.

Georgia did not make the top 10 for Zion Puckett

Zion Puckett of Spalding High in Griffin, Ga., is the No. 36 wide receiver and No. 226 overall prospect in 2019.

Zion Puckett-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting-Georgia football
Zion Puckett could very well play on offense or defense in college. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

My personal opinion is that Puckett could also make a big impact on the college level at safety. Some of the schools that have targeted him have also brought that up.

Puckett released his top schools last weekend and the in-state Bulldogs did not make the cut. He’s clearly valuing his college degree with his decision considering Duke, Notre Dame and Stanford made the cut.

Puckett is also rated as the No. 25 prospect in Georgia for this cycle.

It should be noted that Puckett does work at receiver for Cam Newton’s 7-on-7 squad this year.

Did you see Before the Hedges for UGA recruiting?

DawgNation’s UGA recruiting special airs each week on Facebook Live on the DawgNation page 

This week we touched on:

  • The recent de-commitment from 4-star WR Jermaine Burton
  • Who wore it well? Prom pics for some key UGA class of 2018 signees
  • Getting to know 2019 offers Jammie Robinson and Joey Yellen
  • A little bit of perspective on the Deangelo Gibbs news from last week
  • Where do 4-stars Myles Murphy and Tate Ratledge stand out in the 2020 class?
  • Travon Walker is DawgNation’s biggest uncommitted target for UGA in 2019

Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap.