Mansfield (Texas) safety Trevor Walker has been a popular prospect on the recruiting trail over the last several months. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound three-star standout out of Timberview High has received interest from all over the country since re-opening his recruitment over the summer.
One program that's been hot on his heels since that time has been Vanderbilt. The SEC program offered Walker during the early spring this year, then invited him out to a couple of the Commodores summer events including a few prospect camps.
Walker eventually made a trip in July, and liked what he saw so much that he stayed in contact with the staff and eventually made a trip back to Nashville for an official visit during the Commodores 41-18 victory over rival Tennessee.
The trip went so well for the highly-regarded Texan that it has catapulted the Commodores to the role of the hunted rather than the hunter following the visit.
"I loved everything about it, and they are the No. 1 school (for me), they are the one everybody is competing with right now, the one I guess everybody has to compete with for me," Walker told VandySports.com on Monday. "That's just basically where everything stands for me at this point.
"Coming into it, there was a vibe and a thought of whether or not to commit, just while I came down there, so after this, I'm high on Vanderbilt."
Walker arrived in Nashville early on Saturday and was joined by over 15 current Commodore commitments and other top targets to witness VU's beatdown of the Vols.
Ranked 47th among all safety prospects by Rivals.com, Walker said he was impressed with the play of the Commodore defense in particular, limiting Tennessee's celebrated high-power offense to just 303 yards, with 154 through the air.
"They looked well coached and just looked dominant, so you can really see what the coaches are doing there," Walker said. "Tennessee had beaten Vanderbilt the last couple of years, they had always been on top, but Vanderbilt has now changed that. They just looked solid. They're well coached, everybody was where they were supposed to be. I didn't really see any errors, so I mean, they were real good."
Walker later spent Sunday learning more about the campus and student life, and got a chance to hang out with several players including fellow Texas native and safety Andrew Williamson.
He also learned a little more about Vanderbilt's curriculum and how he could create his own major to suit his previous desire to major in business.
"The guy I first met was Harding Harper, a linebacker. The next guy was Andrew Williamson, he's from San Antonio, so I was with him last night. Everything was fun, we got to hang out a little bit, so I had fun."
"I want to major in business but they don't really have a business major, but they have other things that I can take that are similar to a business degree," said Walker. "So that was the main thing we talked about while I was there."
Though the Commodores appear to have a lead for Walker's services, he plans to wait a little longer before making a final decision. Originally a early commitment to Washington State, Walker has taken the recruiting process slowly and still has a few visits to make before he's ready to make his final choice.
Walker also indicates that there will be a few factors that will go into his decision, including a chance to really grow as a football player.
"It's going to be around mid-December when I will commit because I'm graduating early and will be in a school in January. So it'll be mid-December," Walker said. "I plan to visit Washington and Oklahoma State before it's all said and done.
"I'm going to look at the academics (of a school), first, and if it's a nice city, and fits, so those are probably some of the main things I'm going to look at. This is probably fifth or sixth on the list, but another thing is I would like to come in early that first year and come in and get started off right, and redshirt, live in the weight room during that extra year, and then the year after that try to do the same thing so then I'd be with two years of classes under my belt and work by the time I step on the field and be that more advanced and ready."
Walker has received close to 30 scholarships during his collegiate recruitment, with several offers coming from BCS schools such as Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Duke, Iowa, Kansas State, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Purdue and Washington.
A stout defender, Walker is a bigger type safety prospect that plays with great range and overall strength. His intelligence and ability to read also set him a part from several other prospects across the country.
Ranked 88th overall among prospects from the state of Texas by Rivals.com, Walker also ranks seventh among safety prospects inside the Lone Star state.
This fall, Walker posted over 50 tackles with a couple picks and 10 pass breakups for the Wolves during a disappointing 3-7 campaign.
As a junior, Walker registered 89 tackles with five interceptions and 17 pass breakups while earning first team All-District honors in the highly competitive 5-5A. The Wolves posted a 12-3 record in 2011 and reached the semifinals of the 5A Division 2 state playoffs before losing to eventual champion Dekaney.
As a sophomore, he posted 73 tackles, four picks and 11 swats. He was all-district following that season as well.
Vanderbilt has made the safety position a priority need for the 2013 recruiting period as the Commodores looked to build up depth for the future. Thornton (Ill.) three-star Jalen Banks is currently the only prospect committed, and VU would like to add a second by National Signing Day in February.