To gear up for signing day, and beyond, NoleNation takes a look at each Seminoles commitment in the Class of 2013.
Vitals: Defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker, Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood, 6-foot-4, 280 pounds
Committed: Jan. 8, 2013
ESPN.com grade: 87, Four-star prospect
ESPN.com rankings: No. 40 in the ESPN 150, No. 5 defensive tackle, No. 21 in the Southeast region and No. 11 in the state of Florida
Picked Florida State over: Alabama, Florida
State of the position: Regardless at which position he ends up at, Florida State is in pretty good shape from a talent standpoint at defensive end and defensive tackle. Sure, the defensive ends will have to replace Bjoern Werner, Brandon Jenkins and Tank Carradine, but Mario Edwards and Chris Casher are stud recruits in their own right. Giorgio Newberry and the incoming players such as Walker or Davin Bellamy could add some nice depth at the position for next year. Defensive tackle is more of a logjam, although Florida State loses Anthony McCloud and Everett Dawkins. Timmy Jernigan, Eddie Goldman, Demonte McAllister, Jaccobi McDaniel and Co. are still plenty good enough to get the job done.
ESPN.com scouting report: Walker is a prospect with the tools to be a handful as a defensive lineman. He possesses nice size at this stage with good height and a rangy frame that carries good bulk and looks to have room to support more good mass with further physical development. He displays good flexibility and can get low in his stance. Flashes very good quickness off the ball, but is inconsistent in his get-off. He can be tough at the point of attack. Displays the ability to fire off the ball low, gain leverage, maintain a good football position and be able to hold his ground. However, he does need to watch his pad level as he can pop up and play high at times. He displays good playing strength and flashes the ability to quickly shoot his hands and deliver a blow that can jolt blockers, but needs to do a better job using his hands and consistently extending his arms and maintaining separation. He tends to rely on his raw strength, but will need to be more consistent in his technique at the next level. He flashes the ability to quickly react to blocking schemes, but needs to do a better job of squeezing down and closing space. He is capable of being disruptive with quick penetration. He does a good job of slanting into gaps and can quickly locate the ball and redirect and get flat. He gives good effort, has good speed and takes good angles in pursuit. He is a solid tackler with wrap up ability and has strong hands to be able to drag down ball carriers. He can be disruptive as a pass rusher but is raw. He charges hard upfield and can knock blockers back and disrupt the pocket. He flashes the ability to be active with his hands, but must refine the usage of his weapons and do a better job of being able to more cleanly and quickly clear from blockers. He does display the body control to tightly bend the edge back into the quarterback. Walker can do things to better maximize his abilities, but he is a good player with very good physical tools to work with and develop further.
Expected impact: It's been hard in recent seasons for defensive linemen to come in and make an immediate impact at Florida State. Jernigan was able to do it, to an extent, during his freshman season, but nothing like a skill player might. Defensive linemen, and offensive linemen for that matter, need extra time to physically develop and mature to play at the next level. Sure, Walker is well put together, but he's going to have some work to do. His secret weapon, though, will be that he's already on campus as an early enrollee. He'll have a head start and will be in the strength and conditioning program ahead of his peers. Walker should be able to play in mop-up time or in spot duty as a true freshman, unless it is decided that he should take a redshirt.