Recruiting in the state of Georgia is going to be even more difficult for Tennessee moving forward thanks to the Georgia Bulldogs’ renewed emphasis on bringing in the state’s top talent. The Vols currently don’t have any commits from Georgia in their 2019 class and only had four in their 2018 class. And only one of those players earned four-star status (linebacker J.J. Peterson).
But just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean the Vols are going to give up doing it. And they got a big visit from one of the best players in the Peach State this week.
Travon Walker is an elite 2019 defensive lineman out of Thomaston, Georgia. He visited Tennessee this week and posted a video of himself wearing the Vols’ Smokey Gray jerseys while on the visit. He’s also recently retweeted University of Tennessee tweets and seems to like head coach Jeremy Pruitt.
— Travon Walker (@D1Figure_) April 12, 2018
Walker is rated as a high four-star and the No. 12 overall player in the country, No. 2 defensive tackle, and No. 2 player in the state of Georgia by 247Sports. The 247Sports Composite rankings don’t have him rated quite as high, but they still have him in borderline five-star territory. He’s the No. 33 overall player, No. 3 defensive tackle, and No. 5 player in the state.
Right now, Walker holds offers from a dozen schools. Georgia, Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Michigan, LSU, and others have extended offers to the talented defensive lineman.
Though he’s rated as a defensive tackle in the 2019 class, Walker played mostly at end for Upson-Lee High School during his junior season. And at 6-foot-3, 255 pounds, he has the type of build that makes him look like a perfect fit as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defensive system like what the Vols run.
A look at Walker’s film shows off a tenacious defender who doesn’t let the ball carrier escape his grasp very often. Walker has a good burst off the line of scrimmage, and he never gives up on plays. If he misses the quarterback, he’ll chase down whoever the quarterback dumps the ball off to if he throws it. He isn’t the most technically sound defensive lineman, but he has tons of raw athleticism and harasses both quarterbacks and running backs in the backfield.
Walker is also a solid basketball player for Upson-Lee, averaging 12.2 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks a game during his junior season according to Max Preps.
This marks Walker’s first visit to Tennessee, and it’s his first unofficial visit since he made an unofficial trip to Clemson last summer. Tennessee’s previous coaching staff offered him back in June of 2017, and the Vols’ new staff is still interested in him.
Tennessee has five players committed in their 2019 class, and two of those commitments are from defensive tackles. While Walker is listed as a tackle, he’ll likely be reclassified as an end in this class and will likely play that or outside linebacker in college.