Four-Star Defensive Lineman Announcing Commitment Monday

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    Four-star Rico Walker is announcing his college commitment at 4 p.m. ET Monday, the defensive end announced confirmed on his Twitter Friday afternoon.

    The Hickory, North Carolina native is choosing between a top five of Auburn, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee. Walker cut his list to those five candidates at the beginning of July.

    Walker ranks as the 179th best player in the country and fourth best player in the state of North Carolina according to the 247sports composite rankings.

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    Tennessee’s had an abundance of success recruiting edge rushers in the 2023 recruiting cycle. The Vols landed commitments from five-star Chandavian Bradley and four-star Caleb Herring to give them pledges from two of the top 10 edge rushers in the class.

    Tennessee is one of just two schools with two of the top 25 edge rushers committed and Walker’s commitment would make UT the only school with three of the top 25 committed.

    Walker has frequently made the drive across the Appalachian Mountains to Knoxville. The blue-chip recruit attended Tennessee’s losses against Pitt and Georgia last fall before making two unofficial visits this spring.

    However, Walker has visited the home state Tar Heels more than any other team. Walker took a pair of spring unofficial visits before making a June official visit to Chapel Hill.

    The four-star pass rusher has visited each of his three other finalists once.

    Both 247sports’ crystal ball predictions have Walker staying in state to play his collegiate football at North Carolina.

    Tennessee currently has the No. 7 recruiting class in the country according to the 247sports team rankings.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.