UPDATE: July 22, 2012
Chris Walker has committed to the University of Florida. Bill Self and Co. will now turn their sights on Julius Randle, the #2 ranked player in the Class of ’13. The competition will be stiff to get him. He is reportedly high on Kentucky, NC State, and Duke, but said he will take all 5 official visits before deciding on a school. Other bigs that Kansas will continue to recruit include Jermaine Lawrence (#19 Rivals), Karviar Shepherd (#34 Rivals), Jarell Martin (#13 Rivals), Marcus Lee (#33 Rivals), Austin Nichols (#43 Rivals), and Jordan Mickey (#51 Rivals).
Chris Walker, PF – Committed – University of Florida
- Hometown: Bonifay, FL
- Height, Weight: 6’9, 220
- National Rank: 6 (Rivals), 6 (Scout)
- Rivals Profile, Scout Profile
- Follow him on Twitter at: @cwalkertime23
- YouTube video highlights
Review (and my take):
“If I had to commit right now, I would choose Kansas.” – Chris Walker (December 2011)
Chris Walker has been near the top of recruiting lists for a long time. Depending on when you looked at his profile, he might have been listed as a small forward or combo forward. Then he’d grow again. Next thing you know, he’s a power forward. Some even list him as a center.
What is certain is that the Bonifay, FL native has game. A lot of game. And no matter what position you want to put him at, he’s going to be a dynamite player for you. Bill Self recognized this talent early and was among the first high major schools to offer him. Since that time, other schools have entered the fold (schools like Syracuse, Ohio State, Baylor, etc.) but Kansas has remained one of Walker’s top schools.
Fighting for his services is the hometown state school and Billy Donovan, a coach who has already secured a prized 2013 commitment in PG Kasey Hill (#8 Rivals). Hill also happens to be on Walker’s AAU team, the Florida Rams. Donovan has fostered a good relationship with Walker and can point to success producing other big men into NBA talent.
While Bill Self doesn’t get the hometown discount, he too has secured a prized 2013 recruit in guard, Brannen Greene. Greene also plays on the Florida Rams and has routinely tweeted that he is trying to recruit Walker and others to join him at KU.
A school mysteriously missing from Walker’s recruitment thus far is Kentucky. Chris routinely tweets that UK is a school he would like to attend, but Calipari and Co. have not yet offered him a scholarship. Assuming that holds true, I expect the recruitment to come down to the aforementioned Jayhawks and Gators. If Kentucky does offer, it will immediately become a three horse race.
Whoever gets Walker will receive an extremely long and athletic forward with an affinity for dynamic alley-oop dunks and extremely good timing blocking shots on the defensive end. He does his best in transition and uses his speed to face up and get around his defenders. He also may have the biggest upside of anyone in the entire 2013 class.
He will need to get in the weight room and add weight and muscle to his thin frame. This is one reason KU has to be attractive to Walker as our strength and conditioning team has consistently proven itself under Andrea Hudy. He will also need to work on his post moves. When Walker gave the quote at the beginning of this post, Danny Manning was still on board as KU’s big man coach. It probably didn’t help KU’s chances that he moved on to Tulsa, but Self’s system will remain the same. And in Self’s system, the ball will move through the big guys.
Bottom line is that Walker is a fantastic talent that would certainly thrive at Kansas. He would be an immediate contributor and a centerpiece of Self’s 2013 class. As his recruitment currently stands, I think Self has positioned himself as well as he possibly can. Walker knows that he is a top priority.
My best guess on where Walker ends up? In the end, I think Florida has a slight edge on Kansas. Walker gives KU a lot of love on twitter and it is clear he likes the attention that the fan base gives him. That said, I expect that the hometown team will end up with Walker’s services. I hope I’m wrong because Walker would look great in KU blue.
Final Link: Someone really wants Chris Walker to come to KU.
#kubball, Basketball, Bill Self, Chris Walker, Kansas, Recruiting