Want a daily lap through Georgia football recruiting? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. We’ll cover the news and which way this 4-star or 5-star might lean and add a dab of perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
Quay Walker is a name to know around the Rising Seniors practices this week in Atlanta.
That’s because of the 4-star OLB’s skill level, range and overall potential. The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder is fluid in his hips and can cover the slot receiver downfield.
He can also blitz, chase and tackle with the best of them. What I liked the best would be the way he practices. He trains with an edge. That comes with equal parts hostility and tenacity.
Walker could be a “Sam” or a “Will” linebacker on Saturdays and can rush the passer. The evaluation that keeps coming to my mind was when I saw him and his teammate Markaviest “Big Cat” Bryant at Crisp County this year.
Bryant is one of Georgia’s top remaining targets for the Class of 2017. He is a splendid SEC prospect. The 6-foot-5, 236-pounder looks to me like a classic Saleen Mustang.
Anyone would be darn proud to have that in their garage. But with Walker, it registers like there’s something more. He seems like the Italian sportscar.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder is rated as the nation’s No. 20 OLB for 2018. He’s tabbed as the No. 285 player overall. That stock right there is only going to go up.
So he can play. That’s clear. The only thing that DawgNation should keep in mind is that Walker wore a red Georgia shirt to check-ins on Monday.
He followed that up with another UGA shirt on Tuesday and matched that “G” with ones on his chest, feet, hands and legs.
Quay Walker is a physical player that can also really run and cover in space. He’s very skilled at that for an OLB. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation.com)
That’s right. Walker matched a Georgia shirt with a pair of shorts and slides. He wore a pair of Georgia gloves at practice.
“Everybody around here is already calling me ‘UGA’ and ‘Georgia’ so far,” Walker said.
He said that Florida and Florida State were also right with Georgia in his top group on Monday during check-ins so it will be interesting to see if he wears any of those colors this week.
When asked if he had a timeline in mind for his decision, he delivered an interesting reply.
“Pretty much when Markaviest will commit,” Walker said. “When I get a good feeling from him about where he is going to go and he lets me know how it is then I will think about it.”
He said there’s a “big percentage chance” that he will follow Bryant to the SEC.
Does he have a prediction about what’s coming down the track with the defensive end every recruiter in the SEC knows as “Big Cat” on the trail?
“I feel like he’s Georgia,” Walker said. “That’s what I feel like.”
Walker’s view on what is being built at UGA
Walker’s Crisp County team went 3-7 in the first season under energetic young coach Shelton Felton. The Cougars built off that start and surged to a 13-1 record in 2016.
The case could be made that it was the best year in school history for that football program. Walker uses a parallel to his high school program to discuss what he thinks first-year head coach Kirby Smart is building at Georgia.
Quay Walker is rated as the nation’s No. 20 OLB for 2018. Look for that value to rise. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation.com)
“I look at it as the same thing as with us,” Walker said. “The first year with a new coach and a new staff didn’t go as planned. But the second year everything came together. They got the right freshmen in there who could play in key spots. They were young, but they had a lot of talent. That’s exactly what I think is happening right now at Georgia. We’re watching it right now.”
Florida recruits him harder than any school. It is usually at least one staffer every day. He said that he hears from head coach Jim McElwain often. Georgia would then come in right behind the Gators.
He said that his best relationship is with UGA outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer.
“I love Coach Sherrer,” Walker said. “I can’t say he is a good coach yet because he is not coaching me but I can say he is a really great person. You can just tell by the way he checks up on you and the way he goes about it.”
4-star LB Quay Walker was a big part of a 13-1 turnaround season at Crisp County this year. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
He was also asked what has been the best pitch he’s heard from a recruiter so far. His answer came from Kirby Smart.
“Staying in the state,” Walker said. “I know that would be a good feeling. To play for and represent the state that you grew up in. That’s home right there. When Coach Smart told me that about playing in-state and keeping these South Georgia here, that meant something to me.”
The big news of the week
There’s going to be a lot of information flowing this week about the top junior players in the state and how they’ve looked at the Rising Seniors and Elite Juniors games this week.
Gibbs told SEC Country.com earlier this season that he has more than 3,000 unread text messages. (Jeff Sentell / AJC)
There’s also several future 5-star prospects that are competing in the Elite Sophomores game on Thursday at McEachern High School as well.
Yet none of those elements should occlude the focus from the top story of the week. That’s the pending Alabama or Georgia decision made by vital Georgia target DeAngelo Gibbs.
Gibbs, the nation’s No. 3 safety this year, will make his public decision on Jan. 1 at the Under Armour All-American Game.
What’s he thinking right now? Has the decision been made? We had an in-depth report on Mr. Gibbs last night from his first meeting with the media on Tuesday.
Reassurance on Demery
I spoke to a good source this week who reassured me that some of the rumblings I had been hearing over the last week from South Georgia are nothing to be concerned about.
Brunswick senior OT D’Antne Demery is still solidly committed to Georgia. He’s all Georgia and will likely use just one official visit for another trip to Athens.
He’s not concerned with Georgia adding two more tackles to the playing rotation for next season in junior college signee D’Marcus Hayes and 5-star commitment Isaiah Wilson.
Demery used his large frame and good feet to win a lot of one-on-ones at the Nike Atlanta regional and earn a trip to the Nike Opening. (Student Sports)
Demery now seems like the fourth offensive tackle in the pecking order now, but that doesn’t concern him. It might actually help him.
The 6-foot-6, 320-pounder is a U.S. Army All-American, but he’s still pretty raw. A redshirt season could only benefit him next year in Athens and the addition of Hayes and Wilson to go along with Pace Academy senior Andrew Thomas might now allow Demery that luxury.
That says quite a lot about the type of massive human beings Georgia and line coach Sam Pittman are recruiting these days. Demery is an All-American and he’s rated as the No. 16 offensive tackle in the country and No. 122 prospect overall.
He could see a redshirt season at Georgia. But he’d be the highest-rated commitment on the board right now at Florida. Demery would also rank No. 4 in the current class at Tennessee.
In case you’re wondering, Demery’s massive frame slots in as the ninth highest-rated recruit in Georgia’s 2017 class at this time.
The 6-foot-6 Demery is rated as the nation’s No. 16 OT for the Class of 2017. (Student Sports)
I’ve never used that comparison before, but this example shows just how well Georgia is recruiting this year compared to the other perennial SEC contenders.
Georgia will also make sure to save room in the class for Demery. Once he adds a year in the strength and conditioning program and refines his game, he will be quite an asset. It is hard to find guys at his size that can move the way he does.