One of the neat things about Georgia Tech's 2015 signing class is how early the coaches were able to go out, find talent, and lock it up. 18 of the Yellow Jackets' 27 commits had ended their recruitment before the 2014 season even kicked off. That was not the case (or really anything near it) for Dorian Walker. No, it was late in the season before Walker started registering on the radars of big-time college coaches, as it was his performance in the state playoffs that really caught everyone's attention. Walker led his Mt. Paran Christian teammates to a perfect 14-0 record and a state championship, going for over 2,200 yards and 33 touchdowns in the process. That performance, not to mention his knack for the cornerback position, got Walker a lot of attention from a lot of major programs. In the end, he committed to further his education at Georgia Tech.
As a Recruit
Walker became the 23rd commitment in Georgia Tech's signing class on January 18th, in the wake of his official visit. The visit and commitment came about a month after he initially received a scholarship offer, one he picked over others from Cincinnati, Purdue, and a few others, though he was also drawing interest from Clemson and georgia. He is one of a handful of legacies in the class, the son of a pair of successful Georgia Tech graduates. He stands 6'0" and weighs 175lbs, though he could very reasonably end up adding 10-20 pounds to his frame. Walker was rated a three-star recruit by Rivals (5.5) and the 247Sports Composite (.8494).
Walker is slated to begin his career at cornerback when he arrives on the Flats, and so we'll focus on the few defensive highlights of his which fall between the roughly million touchdowns he apparently scored his senior year of high school.
Walker's cornerback highlights show me two things: he plays a very physical brand of corner (both in delivering hits and in how he covers receivers), and he employs really nice ball skills. When in man-to-man coverage, he doesn't press receivers in a traditional sense, though he does play up close to the line and has no issues turning and running with them immediately. In his limited film, Walker does a nice job of staying physical down the field with his receivers, not making anything easy for them. Then, when the QB passes, Walker's natural tendency is to turn his attention from the receiver to the ball -- a quality Jacket fans will remember that Jemea Thomas specifically refined very well. Finally, when in position, Walker's refined ball skills give me confidence that he'll come down with the interception more often than not when an opportunity presents itself.
In general, Walker is very athletic -- both fast and agile -- and has a couple of skills and tendencies that I think bode very well for him as a cornerback on the Flats. The question moving forward will deal more with Walker's abilities and instincts in zone coverage, as well as how his physical play style will translate to a higher level of football. If those are both things he can accomplish, Walker could become a multi-year starter at cornerback.
What to Expect
Walker joins the team at a time when plenty of depth is present at cornerback, and he joins Dante Wigley and Meiko Dotson in competition for playing time as a true freshman. I think there's a good chance that Walker redshirts as a true freshman to adapt to the college game before playing a significant role in year two. The other possibility could see him moved to A-Back or Wide Receiver, another couple of spots where he has the tools to be very successful (especially at A-Back). Either way, expect Walker's name to be well-known by Georgia Tech fans by the time he graduates. He's got a lot of potential -- the only question is how much it will show itself.
Congratulations on your commitment, Dorian. Welcome to the Georgia Tech family!
Like what you see from Walker's film? When the dust settles, do you expect him at cornerback or somewhere on offense? How does he compare to Wigley and Dotson in your book?