It's not that normal for an out-of-state prospect to visit campus during the week, but McDonough, Georgia safety Avery Walls is doing just that. A player who was only on the outskirts of the Texas recruiting radar is now squarely in the middle of it and it would be a major surprise if he left town without an offer.
Avery Walls 2009 Jr Season Full Highlights 3 (via JSTUNNA56)
It would be a major surprise for Walls not to receive an offer because his highlight film is just that impressive. In fact, a quick perusal of his offer list reveals a national prospect who is currently underappreciated given his obvious talents. There's every apparent reason for every major program in the country to offer him eventually and waiting isn't helping anything.
Unlike some other defensive backs Texas has taken in the last several classes like Eryon Barnett, Bryant Jackson, and Sheroid Evans, Walls doesn't have massive size for a safety at a little under six feet tall, but he's well built -- sturdy.
In terms of speed, he's not going to challenge Sheroid Evans in a foot race (few can, anywhere in the world), but he clearly plays fast in pads and perhaps just as importantly, appears to play instinctively. His listed 4.5 time in the 40 looks legitimate and, again, he looks like he plays faster than that because he reads and reacts so well.
When Walls does get to the ball, he brings some major force with him, showing a remarkable ability to uncoil -- this guy is a serious headhunter and he'll make some receivers get alligator arms in college going across the middle. His excellent tackling form means that he probably tackles as consistently well from down to down as his big hits on film would indicate. Think Aaron Williams rather than former Cowboy safety Roy Williams. These hits aren't for show, these hits are to stop the ballcarrier in his tracks. Past this point you will not advance. You know, actual football plays that don't endanger teammates as much they endanger as opponents.
Without getting a better look at him in coverage, it's tough to tell how well he can flip his hips and whether or not he has the recovery speed or change-of-direction ability to play cornerback, but that really doesn't even matter -- the kid is a safety all the way and has the markings of a true playmaker in college with his ability to finish interceptions and knock the ball loose with his vicious hits. Call him the Enforcer, call him the Playmaker, call him a helluva football player. He brings some Boom with him.
The verdict? Yes, please. The only question is how much he likes Texas and the preliminary indications are good. After all, he paid his own way to Austin. That's some pretty serious interest, isn't it? Texas is clearly interested in him, as Walls reports that the Longhorns told him they would "make a Junior Day" ($) around him when he could visit, which ended up being Wednesday. Publicly, Walls has maintained an open stance with all of the schools that will offer him, so he doesn't have any favorites, but Mack Brown and Texas may have made a big impression on him.
After all, Texas is Texas and when Mack Brown wants your sandwich, he gets your sandwich.