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Watch out, recruiting world. Its 5-star Walter Nolen. Coming through.

Walter Nolen: Nation’s No. 1 DT breaks down what really got UGA on his mind

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This offers the first DawgNation read on 5-star DT Walter Nolen in the 2022 cycle. 

CUMMING — Imagine LL Cool J starring in your community theatre’s production of the superhero hit “Deadpool 2” this spring. Yeah, that’s quite the visual.

The scene-stealing Juggernaut character would be played by the man who gave the world “Mama Said Knock You Out” over a generation ago.

That is the best visual image to use here to convey 5-star Walter Nolen on the football field.

For once, the recruiting services are all in alignment.

  • Walter Nolen on 247Sports: Nation’s No. 1 DT
  • Walter Nolen on Nation’s No. 1 DT
  • Walter Nolen on the 247Sports Composite standard: Nation’s No. 1 DT.

Nobody had to get ripped in half to debate the matter here.

He has not yet been by to check out UGA yet.

“I’m trying to get to there, though,” he said. “When they open it [up for college visits] they are going to be for sure one of my officials, though. Yeah, I mess with Georgia.”

What does he like about the Bulldogs?

“Everything I like,” he said. “The way they carry themselves inside and the outside. On the outside, they may look serious but they are trying to have fun. It always feels like they are trying to have fun on and off the field.”

While speaking to a throng of reporters gathered to hear what he had to say at the Under Armour camp on Sunday, he singled out his relationships with two members of the UGA staff.

“Coach Tray Scott and coach [Kirby] Smart,” he said. “They are cool dudes. I respect them a lot. I just like how they run their defense. They got some ‘Dawgs on that D-line that I am going to be able to play with. That’s what I like.”

He also discussed the other schools on that list for a pack of reporters. LSU, Auburn, Tennessee, among others. Nolen liked a lot of things about a lot of those schools. As he should.

Did you know the weekly “Before the Hedges” program is available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download it. 

Walter Nolen. Big fella. WarDaddy. 5-star. Wrecking ball. Juggernaut. We can use a lot of terms here. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Walter Nolen: What else did he have to say about UGA? 

Nolen was worth a separate interview. Away from the pack. That’s where the real stories are. Not the scrums. It might not be taught in reporter school, but it comes with time once all that academia gets put into real-world applications.

The questions are better. A conversation happens. It was just masquerading as yet another interview that Nolen will conduct after his camp day.

It might not be the most time-efficient thing to do at a prospect camp with literally two dozen players to speak to, but it pays off with a rare chance to speak 1-on-1 with Nolen.

He seemed a lot more personable than that young man who had been gazing out at half a dozen reporters in facemasks with cameraphones and recorders pointed in his direction.

IMG Academy OL Tyler Booker even said he’d like to play with Walter Nolen in college, too. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Why didn’t UGA make his February top 1o?

“The relationship that was then built,” Nolen said. “Once I dropped my top 10 it was like Georgia was like ‘Whoa we have got to try to get this kid here’ it seemed like and I had fun with it. I feel like building a relationship there is what has been happening with not just me but with my whole family. He has been great. They have been great. They have been having fun, too.”

“I feel like Tray Scott is a cool dude to be around. He’s coaching one of the best defensive lines in college football right now so that’s a great thing on that team to be around.”

Nolen knows about BIG BEAR. He knows Mr. Tyre West will be in the Butts-Mehre building, too. There’s the chance of playing at Georgia with tantalizing other options like Christen Miller and Mykel Williams in 2022. He got to see what major UGA target Lebbeus Overton could do in the 2023 class at that camp.

“You know we are always talking about going to school together,” Nolen said of that group. “It is a great thing to think about at Georgia. Think about this…all those top-tier defensive linemen at one school? That’s pretty hard to find. Some dudes like all of us like to spread out. But all of us talking about going to the same school? Playing for the same coaches? That’s a great thing to think about.”

Nolen didn’t know 2020 Georgia D-line signee Warren Brinson when he was at IMG Academy. That’s okay. He already knows a lot of Bulldogs on campus from the time he spent at IMG.

“I know the man LC,” he said.

That’s a reference for Georgia tailback signee Lovasea’ Carroll. Carroll, it seems like we must say here, was seemingly able to function as an extension of the recruiting staff among the Ascenders for two seasons. He was just that committed to playing for Georgia during his time there.

“That’s my boy,” Nolen said of Carroll.

He said he also knows Xavian Sorey Jr. on the Bulldog team, too. When the visits open up, he said he has a plan. Look for him to take visits far from his current home in Tennessee first.

“I am going to work my way out and then I am going to work my way back to home.”

He has never visited Georgia before. Or seen a game. Nolen said he knows what he will be looking for.

“They have got to be a family-oriented school,” he said. “There isn’t an ‘I’ in team and I grew up with that. You are always going to need your teammates to fall back on no matter the good times or the bad times. Having a good family relationship with your team. That’s really how you start out with a championship team.”

“I feel like that is what Georgia has got.”

Nolen doesn’t plan to enroll early. He will graduate in the spring of 2022. When might he make his decision?

“I might take it all the way back to February,” he said.

The chase is already on. Look for the Bulldogs to be in the thick of this one all the way to February of 2022.

Have you subscribed to the DawgNation YouTube channel yet? If so, you will be able to see special 1-on-1 interviews with Jake Fromm, Gunner Stockton and Brock Vandagriff. You will only be able to find it on the DawgNation YouTube channel. 

Walter Nolen is just a barrel of a man going through a bag drill. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Walter Nolen: Checking out the film

We’ve got two embeds to wrap up the post on Nolen. The first is a clip from his DawgNation interview at the Under Armour camp on Sunday.

The second will be his highlight film.


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