Traverse City Record-Eagle

June 27, 2013

Six camps, seven days, three college scholarships

BY DENNIS CHASE dchase@record-eagle.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Six camps in seven days netted Harbor Springs running back-defensive end David Walker three college scholarship offers.

After deliberating a couple days, and having one option taken off the table, Walker reached a decision with a verbal commitment to Western Michigan and new head coach P.J. Fleck.

“I really like the coaches, the whole feel they’ve brought to the program,” Walker said. “It really feels like it’s going in the right direction there and I have a opportunity to be part of something great.”

The Broncos, along with Ball State, offered the 6-foot-3, 227-pound Walker as an H-back, a slot-tight end position. Central Michigan offered the 16-year-old senior as a defensive end.

“I think I fit in well at that (H back) position,” Walker said.

Walker impressed coaches with his size, athleticism and offensive ball skills, his father and coach Rob Walker said. David Walker runs a 4.65 in the 40.

“Everybody is looking at the Patriots and what they’re doing with two and three tight ends,” Rob Walker said. “It’s all a match-up game. Everybody is looking for that combination (size, athleticism and skill), that hybrid type of player.”

Walkers’ camp circuit included stops at Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Ball State, Purdue, Indiana and Michigan State.

“We had five scheduled,” Rob Walker said. “We were going to stop after Indiana, but MSU found us on the road after he had his first couple offers. They said get to East Lansing by noon on Sunday — and bring 70 bucks cash.”

Of the Big Ten schools, Indiana seemed “really interested,” David Walker said. No offer was made at the time, though.

“When I got done with all the camps I analyzed what I had on the table,” David Walker said. “I thought about it for a couple days.”

In the meantime, Central Michigan pulled its offer after another player the Chippewas were recruiting at his position committed, Walker said.

“Somebody else took that scholarship spot,” he said. “I really knew then I had to make a decision rather quickly and I felt really comfortable picking Western.”

The Broncos finished 4-8 last season, prompting a coaching change. Fleck, who coached receivers for the NFL Tampa Bay Bucs in 2012, was hired. He’s quickly put together a solid recruiting class that includes four-star quarterback Chance Stewart, who was originally committed to Wisconsin.

“He brought in some really good assistants and it looks like he’s going to have a very nice recruiting class,” Rob Walker said. “David’s very excited.”

Walker, a 3.85 student who rushed for 1,300 yards last season, did visit three Ivy League schools in the last week — Yale, Princeton and Harvard.

Harvard’s interested, but “I don’t think anything is going to change,” Rob Walker said.

“We already had those visits set up and it was cleared through coach Fleck with the understanding that he could go look to see what his options are,” Rob Walker said. “That’s what we did. It was interesting, but he’s very happy to be a Bronco.”