Demarcus Walker, four-star defensive end from Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville, Fla., committed Friday afternoon live on national TV. Walker chose the University of Alabama with several other scholarship offers including Auburn, Clemson, Florida, LSU, Tennessee and USC.
The recruiting battle for Walker has been a long process with numerous visits in the past few months. His college choice appeared to come down to Alabama and Florida. Those two schools recruited him the hardest and longest.
"They have a great coaching staff and you can't not like their record of putting players in the NFL," Walker told Rivals.com about Alabama. "My goal is to play in the league, and they get their players there."
"Alabama is a winning program. They have great tradition. I really love coach Saban. I talk to him a lot. He is always smiling when he is around me. Coach Saban says I will fit in well. He said they have a lot of linebackers who can drop back in coverage, but they need more guys who can rush the passer like me."
Sandalwood head coach Adam Geis has accompanied Walker on trips to Tuscaloosa. He believes Walker is headed to a great program.
"Alabama is a great school," said Geiss. "It just doesn't get much better than that. You have a chance to play for two or three national titles, and in a bad year you are probably still going to a BCS bowl.
"He wants to play for a team that plays for championships, can develop him into an NFL player and has great academics. You combine all of that, and there really is only one program in the country who can provide that."
Coach Geis sees Walker fitting in well with Alabama especially at the 'Jack' linebacker position.
"Everyone says he can't play the 'Jack' linebacker, but [Courtney] Upshaw did it at 280-pounds," he said. "He plays on the line of scrimmage. Every once in a while he may drop back into coverage.
"There is no reason he can't play that spot. He can do all that stuff. Now if he gets to 290, 300-pound range that's when you may find him as a four technique. As his body develops we'll see how it plays out. He's very athletic. He played in the slot during our spring game. He had five catches for 95 yards. I think he'll be fine in coverage."