There’s a reason why Sports Illustrated named Dewayne Walker the Pac-10 Recruiter of the Year. Walker personally signed 7 players, all of them elite or close to it, and almost all of them chose UCLA over competing scholarship offers from USC. That really didn’t happen much at UCLA during Dorrell’s tenure.
Pac-10 Recruiter of the Year, DeWayne Walker, UCLA: Not only is Walker one of the up-and-coming defensive coaches in America, he’s also one of the best recruiters out West. Walker was involved with seven of UCLA’s 10 signings in this year’s class. Those seven players have an average star rating of 3.57. The job he did with four-star running back Raymond Carter and four-star defensive tackle Brian Price, both Rivals100 players from Los Angeles Crenshaw, was amazing. Schools continued to try and steal both up until Signing Day. Walker, the Bruins’ defensive coordinator, also kept UCLA in it until the end with Donovan Warren (who picked Michigan).
The funny thing is, that accolade was bestowed on Walker BEFORE this season. According to rivals.com, DeWayne Walker was heavily involved with the recruitment of even more elite players.
Those are all ELITE talents and are HIGHLY rated 4 star players. Again, those are others that might try to challenge Walker’s recruiting ability, but the numbers, again, speak for themselves. This class was practically guaranteed to be a top 5 class until questions about Dorrell’s job became a serious issue. Walker is no stooge, however, and understands the importance of keeping this top-flight class together:
“My main concern is staying on top of recruiting and collectively getting this team ready to win a game. It’
s all about the recruiting and getting ready for this bowl game. That’s enough to be worried about.”
One current player, blue-chipper and Freshman All-American Brian Price, has such a strong connection to Walker that he stated he would leave if Walker was not retained. Many of the recruits have also expressed the same exact sentiments.
The bottom line is that Walker is a key to UCLA’s future. The recruits hold him, as well as recievers coach Eric Scott, in extremely high regards and respect him as a coach and as a man.
The coolest thing about all this is that Walker has been a defensive coordinator for only TWO years and already has a such a great reputation amongst these recruits. He’s already received the commitment of Marion Pollard, a top 100 player and elite defensive back prospect, for 2009.
The sky is the limit for Walker. His recruiting record, specifically, has shown the ability to go toe-to-toe with Pete Carroll and the rest of the Pac-10.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million times more: DeWayne Walker is going to be a great head coach at the Division-I level. Whether or not he does it at UCLA, however, is up to us.