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Quay Walker casts aside the Vols, commits to Georgia

NCAA Football: Georgia at Tennessee
We’ve done pretty well with athletic linebackers out of southwest Georgia.
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

We may have our signature moment of UGA Signing Day 2018.

Crisp County linebacker Quay Walker had been committed to Alabama for months. Then when Jeremy Pruitt decamped for Rocky Top he made the five star a priority in his bid to rebuild the Vol roster. Walker instead chose Georgia, making his preference vis-à-vis hideous shades of orange known in no uncertain terms.

Walker is the #31 ranked player in America according to 247Sports and the #2 outside linebacker. At 6’4, 236 pounds Walker is fast for his size and big for his speed. NFL personnel folks love to talk about players’ “speed/size ratios” and Quay’s is very, very good.

I’d compare him favorably to rising junior David Marshall, but I think Walker has a quicker first step and better straight line speed. He’s the kind of player you want when you want to stock a defense with large, swift, and hostile young men.

Walker could begin his time in Athens at outside linebacker along with fellow 2018 signees Adam Anderson and Brenton Cox. Ultimately I could see Walker moving up and putting his hand in the dirt at defensive end. Again, at this point we’re just taking players any other football program in America would kill for and trying to find places to put them. Kirby Smart has four star recruits falling out of the hall closet and busting out of the junk drawer in the kitchen. The organizational system he and Mel Tucker employ is ultimately up to them.

Walker’s commitment is also a little symbolic of where this program is. The Red and Black have had terrible luck getting quality players out of Cordele for years. Most recently, Walker’s teammate Markaviest “Big Cat” Bryant picked Auburn over the ‘Dawgs a year ago and immediately joined the Plainsman defensive rotation.

Auburn made a charge for Walker and even hosted him on an official visit the last weekend of January. Not since the halcyon days of Preston Pannell have the Bulldogs picked up a Crisp County Wildcat. The same could be said for several top Peach State programs where Kirby Smart and his staff have leveraged local ties and a ton of momentum to get in the door.

We’ve reached the point at which this staff should never be counted out of it for a blue chip Georgia high school player, not until the ink is dry on someone else’s letter of intent and his bag hits the floor in someone else’s dormitory. It’s been a long time since Bulldog fans could say that.