Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. Georgia All-American LB commit Jalon Walker is set to play for a state title tonight and he shared a few thoughts on the North Carolina Class 2-AA matchup.
Jalon Walker has yet to lose a high school game since he’s been a committed Georgia Bulldog. The casual - or even the insatiable - DawgNation recruiting reader might find that ironic.
Walker does not. He told DawgNation this week the experience has freed him up to play the most important games of his ascending football career.
“When I played my first game committed I felt so free and felt like a better player because I didn’t have to worry about anything else just that game at the time,” Walker said.
He’s shaken off a hand injury that was once clubbed up to become a vital cog in six straight Salisbury wins. That streak has surged his Hornets to the North Carolina Class 2-AA state championship game at 7 p.m. tonight at North Carolina State’s Carter-Finley Stadium.
It is quite odd to see a future Georgia Bulldog is playing for the championship in his home state in May. That’s because The Tar Heel State postponed the fall 2020 season into a somewhat abbreviated spring. This will be the 11th game of the season for Walker and his Hornets.
They’ll also play another full schedule this fall.
Salisbury (8-2) is seeking its first state title since 2010 and only the third state crown in school history. Walker was but a pup on the Salisbury team which fell 31-0 in the state final back in 2019.
The junior and senior classes at Salisbury have not forgotten that result.
“We’ve been in this situation so we won’t be as big-eyed getting there,” Walker said this week. “I told our young guys this week that the pain of losing this game hurts and I’m not going to let them experience that.”
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Georgia commit Jalon Walker (right) has been an expected force for Salisbury High in the North Carolina 2-AA state playoffs. But he's also seen his younger brother Deuce Walker raise his game considerably as the season went along. Walker is a skill player on both sides of the ball in the Class of 2024. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
Jalon Walker: Previewing tonight’s Class 2-AA North Carolina state final
Walker and his Hornets have been road warriors throughout the bracket. After going 4-2 in league play, they had to go on the road for their three playoff wins.
They haven’t had a home game since April Fool’s Day and yet powered through the quarterfinals and the semis thanks to 10-7 and 24-21 road wins, respectively.
They face a St. Paul’s team with an unbeaten 8-0 record this spring. Salisbury kicker Wade Robbins has been the hero of late for his team. Robbins won one of those games on the last play. He hit another game-winner with 1:09 left in last week’s state semifinals.
Salisbury looks to have the edge defensively. The Hornets have played two more games than tonight’s opponent, but have given up 18 fewer points this spring.
It helps to have an eraser like Walker roaming around the box. Walker gobbled up a key fumble in a 10-7 road win against Burns. He had a key sack in the semifinals, too.
“I feel like if we execute on what we have been preparing for all week long and have the right mindset going in we will be successful in all aspects of the ball game,” Walker said.
Walker, the son of a college head coach, finds a way to sound like that each and every time he breaks down an upcoming game.
“They have some athletes,” Walker said. “They run the ball mostly because of their big front but they haven’t seen a front like ours yet. They can pass the ball in passing situations. Their defense is mostly stacked inside the box. They are big so we will attack them outside and run them sideline to sideline. Most of [their players] start both sides of the ball.”