January 17, 2010

Official visitor likes what he sees in Wave

Chris Walton liked what he saw this weekend in New Orleans.

During his official visit, Tulane proved it can match Walton's priorities on and off the playing field with top-notch academics, relatable coaches and a rising program.

But, after waiting this long to make a decision, the defensive end from Atlanta (Grady HS) isn't in a rush to make a commitment before seeing everything on the recruitment landscape.

Despite naming Tulane the leader for his impending signature, Walton will wait until after next weekend's official visit to UAB before making any decision.

"The visit this weekend went really great," Walton said. "I had a great time with the team and the coaches. As far as the academics and the classrooms, those were great. It's a good culture and a good environment and I think I like it a lot over there."

"But I am going to make sure I see everything and I am going to UAB next weekend. I am going to make my decision after that visit. If I had to pick right now though, I would say Tulane."

The 6-foot-3, 230 pound defensive end racked up 12 sacks and 46 tackles during his senior season in Georgia's 5A divison and has been on the Green Wave's radar for months. Known for his speed around the edge and ability to get to the quarterback, Walton could improve Tulane's pass-rushing ability from day one.

"I guess if I had to describe myself I would say I'm known for my quickness, instincts and my determination," Walton said. "I think I'm pretty consistent and I have a good motor which helps me make some plays on the back end and finish things off."

After receiving a commitment from Wendell Beckwith on Friday, the addition of Walton could solidify a once-shaky position on the Tulane roster. After losing two starters and a rotational reserve - seniors Adam Kwentua and Logan Kelley along with Brooks Cunningham - the depth at defensive end needed to be shored up.

A commitment from Walton would complete the process.

Playing in pass-happy Conference USA, Walton is aware he would have an opportunity to play early, getting to display his skills as a true freshman. It's a notion which is appealing but not necessarily a top priority as he makes his final decision.

"It is important to me to get a chance and know that if I practice well, I can have a chance to play and earn my way on the field," Walton said. "At the same time I want to be able to get a feel for things and work my way up the right way.

"I think over time I will become a better player than who I arrive as. I can work my way into the rotation and move up that way. Either way, I just want to get better."

Chris Walton's Junior Highlights

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