March 5, 2013
One of three early enrollees for the spring semester, DeMarcus Walker is going to be thrown to the Division I fire March 20 when the Seminoles start practice.
Despite his inexperience as a college student-athlete, Walker will be asked to contribute, push for playing time and provide depth to a defensive ends depth chart that is looking for a host of youngsters to step up in the wake of off-season losses of Brandon Jenkins, Toshmon Stevens, Tank Carradine and Bjoern Werner.
Walker appears prepared for the tall task. A standout pass rusher from Jacksonville, Fla. with ideal size and motor, Walker was one of the nation's top defensive ends prospects and had scholarship offers from many of the nation's top programs.
At 6-foot-3 and 265 pounds, Walker could also be a force at defensive tackle if he keeps growing and getting stronger.
"Demarcus is a big physical guy; strong," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. "Was coached very well in high school and because of his size and girth and his demeanor and frame has a chance."
Recruited by new FSU defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt when he was the secondary coach at Alabama, Walker gave a verbal pledge to the Crimson Tide Aug. 24, 2012 and appeared ready to join the defending national champions' treasure trove of defensive talent in Tuscaloosa.
But when Pruitt was hired by the Seminoles, Walker quietly started reconsidering his allegiance to Alabama. He eventually shocked everyone when he de-committed from the Crimson Tide on the night of their national championship victory over Notre Dame and enrolled at Florida State Jan. 9.
The recruiting flip was met with a great deal of excitement from FSU fans but perhaps nobody was more thrilled with Walker's decision than new 'Noles defensive ends coach Sal Sunseri. When he was the defensive coordinator at Tennessee last year, Sunseri put Walker through an NFL-style work out when he was on campus for a summer visit and came away impressed.
"I immediately told Jeremy, I said, 'No matter what we do we've got to get this young man in the program,'" Sunseri said. "He's explosive [and] he's strong. Let me just tell you this, he is every bit 260-270 right now and this young man can run. The thing that is exciting about him is that he's doing everything right right now and we are going to keep that going.
"He's an explosive young man; he's a dang good football player."
Walker will wear No. 44 at Florida State.
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