Does UGA have shot to flip 4-star Alabama LB commit Quay Walker?
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. The play sheet for Thursday calls for a roll through a buffet of recent names of interest. We start it up with a reset on where UGA stands with 4-star Alabama LB commit Quay Walker.
Quay Walker is committed to Alabama.
The 4-star outside prospect from Crisp County (Cordele, Ga.) ranks on the 247Sports composite as the nation’s No. 6 outside linebacker for the 2018 cycle.
There was a time when he was likely to UGA (last December) and then Auburn (right around March) and wound up trending hot and committing to Alabama. That pledge was made in June.
This storyline feels like a good time to remind folks that recruiting months are akin to dog years. It sometimes feels like one month ― as the moon twirls around this rock ― can include enough back-and-forths to fill up seven months of story arcs for a big-time recruit.
There’s another truism: The better the player, the more potential possibilities will emerge.
And with Walker, we are talking about a 6-foot-4, 220-pound prospect who can run, rush the passer, shadow the tight end or slot the receiver in space and tackle.
Walker was at UGA on Saturday for the Kentucky game.
He received a lot of attention on the sidelines from a group of Georgia staff members that included outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, plus one head coach’s wife to be named later.
That was all very interesting. What does Walker have to say about that?
“I’ll just say UGA still [has] a shot,” Walker said.
Walker said he was happy to return to Athens.
He said he spoke to Kirby Smart, Sherrer and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker on that visit. The messages from all three of those gentlemen were of the same accord.
“I’m one of his top guys,” Walker said. “Like one of those guys where other recruits might have to wait if they want to commit.”
He also told DawgNation that he does not plan to sign until what now should be called the late signing day in February. I’d say an official visit to UGA might very likely take place.
Walker said earlier this month that he planned to take an unofficial and an official visit after the season.
A few other tidbits about Quay Walker
Walker is a great talent. He said he felt a genuine tug to UGA about 11 months ago. But that faded when the Bulldogs backed off.
His interest — as it likely should be — was tied to the school’s interest in him.
The nation’s No. 126 overall recruit had this to say about his recruiting outlook eight months ago. I doubt that much of it has changed.
Alabama was chasing him the hardest back in April. If any school matched that effort, then that program would quickly ascend to the top of his thought process.
Was that the right way to look at it?
“No doubt,” Walker said in April. “That’s what all of this recruiting is all about. I’m looking at these schools who want me. Not basically where I want to go. The school that wants me the most will basically be the best decision for me, my future and my family.”
His logic is sound as long as a player has a lot of elite programs to pick from. Walker’s skills definitely qualified him for that.
When it comes to the affection of those recruiters, it means their attention equals worth in this day and age.
The players those position coaches and coordinators want the most are the ones they feel will help them win. It means recruit this guy, sign him and then that coach’s job will get easier with the right players to coach. It means they will not have to fill out change-of-address forms anytime soon.
Walker removed UGA from his top 5 list in May because he wasn’t hearing from the Bulldogs. But then a funny thing happened after Walker chose the Crimson Tide.
“They never stopped recruiting me after I committed to Alabama,” he told DawgNation this week.
That visit to the Kentucky game had been in the works for weeks. That was telling, especially with how many things can happen along a recruit’s timeline over the course of a month.
The big picture with Quay Walker and the LBs on the board
Walker is at the very least a “leverage” or a “pressure” recruit. I’m a big fan of what he can do on the field. He can do a great many things to enhance a defense.
The main thing is he can stay on the field and not expose a scheme to liabilities in the run or throw games. He can be a matchup solution for a lot of schemes that offensive coordinators might try to throw at the Bulldogs.
But keep in mind that the Bulldogs are actively chasing a couple of outside linebacker targets in KJ Henry, Otis Reese and Channing Tindall, who also fit that description.
Walker told DawgNation he wasn’t sure which position the Bulldogs would want him to play. The reality here is that he’s too talented to fit into just one depth chart slot.
“Kirby told me that I’m athletic enough to play inside or outside,” Walker said. “So I might play inside on first and second down and rush on third.”
He can do that. There just aren’t many linebackers that can do that and not get you beat matched up with a quality SEC offense.
But it is going to be complicated there with the UGA board. Just like it is everywhere for the Bulldogs in terms of their remaining available scholarships in the class of 2018.
Walker rates as the nation’s No. 6 OLB prospect for 2018. Tindall is No. 1 on that 247Sports Composite ranking. Adam Anderson, who checks in as that nation’s No. 2 OLB, has committed to Georgia.
Reese, who is still thought to be committed to Michigan, comes in at No. 10 on that listing. Reese and Tindall both can do a lot of the things that Walker can.
Let’s also not forget 4-star UGA commit Azeez Ojulari, who ranks as the nation’s No. 6 weakside defensive end. But he will be play OLB at Georgia.
The Bulldogs will not be able to sign all of these players. But rest assured that Sherrer and Tucker’s Wolfpack will have a serious talent spike with the 2018 recruiting crop.
A few more details about the Zamir White injury
I’m going to go with a tip of the cap here to a local high school beat reporter. Having been one of those for a lot of years, I understand the nature of that job and the trust that is built up there.
The reporters who cover the team usually are the first calls to get returned. They are also the ones who might allow for a more direct flow of information.
Batten’s report includes the following details on the injury to White’s right knee:
- White said felt the knee was fine after the game. He signed autographs in the cold for about 10 to 15 minutes and then conducted an interview with DawgNation and one other media outlet in the fieldhouse afterward. He showed no signs of a serious knee injury.
- His unofficial visit to UGA the following day came at an opportune time. Scotland coach Richard Bailey told the Observer that White’s knee had swelle by the time he made it to Athens. That prompted Georgia’s training staff to perform the MRI that revealed the ACL tear.
- Bailey said he did not know when White will have surgery to correct the tear. But the expectation is the surgery will be done by the Bulldogs’ team doctors. He is scheduled to enroll in January.
Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed faster than Georgia All-America candidate Roquan Smith can find the football after the snap.