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Promising running back to announce decision today

Pat Leonard | Thursday, January 22, 2004

Georgia running back Darius Walker is Notre Dame’s top recruiting priority after the loss of Brian Brohm to Louisville on Tuesday, according to ESPN recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. Coach Tyrone Willingham and his staff have received verbal commitments from ten recruits thus far. At 2:45 p.m. today, Willingham will find out if Walker has become the eleventh.The high school senior from Lawrenceville, Ga. will announce his decision this afternoon from Buford High School in his home state. Walker, who stands at 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, rushed for 1,986 yards and 26 touchdowns as the feature running back for the state champion Buford Wolves.He has already taken visits to Stanford (Jan. 9), Ohio State (Jan. 16) and Alabama (Jan. 19). Walker has also scheduled a visit to Notre Dame for Jan. 23 and Arkansas for Jan. 30, though his decision could affect the status of those visits.ESPN reported that Walker’s father, former Arkansas player Jimmy Walker, called Notre Dame an early favorite at the beginning of the recruiting process.Rivals100.com has Walker ranked 18th among running backs, three spots behind current Irish verbal commitment Justin Hoskins. Still, Lemming believes coaches would like to secure the commitment of a player that, even if it takes time, could contribute.”Walker could make an impact right away and so could Hoskins,” Lemming said. “Hoskins definitely couldn’t carry the whole load, but they both have to get bigger. Coaches could get a lot out of either of them as spot runners.”If Walker commits, he will join the likes of Hoskins, Ryan Grant and Travis Thomas in a backfield that coaches have indicated could be open for competition.