October 27, 2009
In the film room: Aundrey Walker
As is the case most years, there is a lot of buzz surrounding the 2011 class at Glenville Academic Campus in Cleveland, Ohio. The Tarblooders have no fewer than three elite level prospects in their junior class along with a handful of other Division I caliber targets. One of those three elite prospects is offensive lineman Aundrey Walker.It's impossible to ignore how absolutely massive Walker really is. Height and weight are very often inflated but not with this prospect. He is every bit of the 6-foot-5 and 335-pounds that he is listed at in the database. In fact, those figures are probably on the low end of things.
A starter since his sophomore season, the 6-foot-5, 335-pound prospect has shown flashes of absolute dominance during his junior season. Walker's imposing size and high ceiling have netted him an early offer from Michigan State. Many of the other top programs in the Midwest and around the nation are also keeping tabs on the talented junior.
In this edition of 'In the Film Room', we'll take a look at Walker's performance in Week 3 against Huber Heights Wayne where Walker was involved in some impressive individual battles with Michigan commit Terry Talbott.
What he does well
To go along with his outstanding size, Walker has tremendous natural strength. When he gets his hands on defenders they are pretty much at his mercy as he is able to drive them out of the gaps with ease and dictate where he wants them to go.
For a kid as big as Walker is, he has pretty good feet which allow him to be effective both in pass protection and when pulling in the run game. On the first clip, Walker is going against Michigan commit Terry Talbott (#90). Talbott is arguably the quickest defensive tackle in Ohio and Walker does a good job of moving his feet and staying in front of him despite Talbott trying to put a spin move on him. Another example of his quick feet shows up towards the middle of the reel when he slides from his right guard position all the way out to the edge to pick off a blitzing linebacker.
Where Walker is probably at his best right now is when he's pulling. He is simply a run-away train when he gets moving and defenders can either get out of the way and take themselves out of the play or they can get run over. Either way, when Walker pulls around, more often than not he's going to open up a big hole.
Another important attribute that Walker brings to the table is versatility. During the course of a game he will line up at both guard and tackle. Prospects that have the ability to excel at multiple positions along the offensive line are a valuable commodity.
Areas for improvement
As with many high school linemen, Walker really needs to improve his technique. Numerous times on his film his first reaction to the snap of the football is to stand straight up, even when run blocking. This causes two major problems. First and foremost, it makes it much easier for defenders to get their hands into his pads which, of course negates his considerable strength advantage. It also leaves him flat footed and off balance which makes him much more susceptible to getting beat by a defensive tackle that is shooting the gap or trying to get after the quarterback. So much of line play relies on the hands and getting into the pads of the opponent and playing upright is the number one thing that will cause a lineman to lose those individual battles.
Another area that most young linemen need to work on is body composition. While Walker certainly isn't 'sloppy', he will need to shed a little bit of excess weight and get himself into better shape. He has a great initial burst when getting to the second level on his blocks but is visibly fatigued on longer plays where he needs to hold blocks longer or get into the secondary to execute blocks.
Finally, Walker will need to work on doing a better job of getting his arms extended in pass protection and 'punching' defenders. There can be a fine line with that as sometimes prospects will focus too much on that and it causes them to lean forward and get off balance. Simply getting better extension will allow him to keep defenders at bay and away from his pads.
Ohio recruiting fans have really been spoiled the last two classes by the wealth of talented offensive line prospects. The 2011 class doesn't appear to be quite as loaded at the position as the previous two classes but Walker is definitely an outstanding prospect and will be firmly in the discussion for the top offensive lineman in the class.
Walker's size, strength, and solid feet could ultimately land him at either guard spot or right tackle. Though his position is a bit up in the air right now, one thing is for sure and that is that this will be one of the most coveted junior prospects in the Midwest. Look for Walker to be a top ten type of prospect in Ohio's class of 2011.
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