On the heels of Marcus Marshall’s transfer announcement Wednesday, DB Dorian Walker made a transfer announcement of his own.
The underlying reasons for Walker’s decision, as of now, remain unclear. Walker originally came to Georgia Tech from Mt. Paran High School in Kennesaw as a member of the 2015 recruiting class. After coming on strong his senior year, he was offered a scholarship less than two months before Signing Day, then visiting and committing in January. Walker is a very gifted athlete who, after redshirting in 2015, backed up Lance Austin at the field corner position and played in all 12 games this year. He finished the season with 3 tackles (1 solo) and an interception he returned 64 yards against Vanderbilt.
Walker is the second cornerback from his recruiting class to transfer away from Georgia Tech, following Dante Wigley’s transfer back in January. With Walker’s departure, it won’t create a highly noticeable change to the personnel in the secondary in 2017, as Step Durham, Lance Austin, and Lamont Simmons still figure to be the primary players at cornerback. That said, Durham and Austin will each be seniors, meaning a starting role figures to be open in 2018, and Walker would have been a prime candidate to fill it. However, it should also be noted (and may have factored into Walker’s decision) that Georgia Tech has a wealth of secondary talent currently committed in its 2017 recruiting class, with five commitments in total including 4-star prospects Tre’ Swilling and Gentry Bonds. Walker’s departure likely opens up opportunities for one (ore more) of those players to play as backups on defense as true freshmen in 2017.
For 2017, Walker’s departure won’t be felt as hard as Marshall’s. For the long term, the Jackets have lost a dynamic, versatile athlete that could have figured into the secondary’s gameplans regularly. It will be up to Georgia Tech’s coaches to prepare their younger players to help supplement for the depth that’s been lost, particularly at cornerback.