While Jalon Walker and new 5-star Georgia commit Zayden Walker are not related, their games are somewhat similar.

In high school, both use their elite athleticism to wreak havoc off the edge. In college, Jalon has done that situationally as he led the Bulldogs in sacks last season with 5.0.

But both Walkers’ know their long-term home is at inside linebacker. It’s a big reason both ultimately picked Georgia.

“Me being athletic enough to play the inside backer position and have the outside backer frame is rare,” Jalon Walker said earlier this spring. “People have done it in the past. I’ve seen them do it, especially here. We entrusted them for them to build my skillset, to build me as a player. I put my full trust in them.”

Walker stands at 6-foot-2 and 245 pounds. That’s actually bigger than Georgia outside linebacker Chaz Chambliss. Because of Walker’s obvious gifts, there’s a natural desire to see Walker more off the edge. The position was not a strength for Georgia last season, but Walker clearly provided a spark.

In just 11 snaps against Alabama, he had 2.0 sacks.

But at every step, Kirby Smart has reiterated that Walker’s home is at inside linebacker. Even with the likes of Smael Mondon and CJ Allen ahead of him on the depth chart.

“He did rush off the edge. He’s still a really good edge rusher. He knows that was part of the development plan because he had seen Quay [Walker] do it,” Smart said of Walker. “He had seen other football players in our program develop as an off-the-ball backer and into a linebacker. He does both of those things really well. He missed last spring to develop at inside backer.”

It’s largely the same reason LSU has tried to play Harold Perkins at inside linebacker. Despite his obvious passing rush gifts, 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds is too small for an every-down edge rusher.

Quay Walker wouldn’t have had an overly impressive frame for an outside linebacker. But at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, he had plus size an inside linebacker. Even though he didn’t receive as many accolades as Nakobe Dean, it was Walker who was taken in the first round by the Green Bay Packers in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Zayden Walker is listed at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds. You have to imagine the latter number will jump up after spending some time in Scott Sinclair’s strength and conditioning program.

Walker is listed by most scouting services as an outside linebacker. For Georgia, he’ll play as an inside linebacker, working off the ball. He’s a 5-star prospect for a reason, meaning he has the potential to be a first-round draft pick should he develop as Georgia envisions him.

If Georgia’s outside linebacker position is as limited in the future as it was in 2023, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Georgia play Walker in that role. He’s got the ability and athleticism to get by in a pinch.

Just as Jalon Walker and Quay Walker did before him.

“He has the pass rushing ability, very physical at the point of attack,” former Georgia wide receiver Terrence Edwards said of Zayden Walker. “He can set the edge because he has the strength and knowledge to set the edge.

“I think this is a phenomenal pickup from an in-state guy.”

What Georgia football is getting in 5-star linebacker Zayden Walker