Kissimmee (Fla.) Osceola four-star defensive tackle John Walker announced on Friday afternoon he will make his college decision among finalists Florida, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Ohio State and UCF on July 28.
The 6-foot-3 and 310-pound Walker, who is considered the 11th-best defensive lineman and No. 97 prospect overall in the class of 2023, had previously set a commitment date for Oct. 22. However, after taking official visits with four of his five finalists last month, he’s decided to accelerate his timeline.
Walker has been a top target for defensive line coach Larry Johnson since the Buckeyes extended an offer back in November 2020. He took a multi-day unofficial visit to Columbus last summer and then returned for his official visit on the weekend of June 24-26.
While the Gators were the lone program to not receive an official visit, he made several trips to Gainesville in an unofficial capacity this spring alongside his teammate, four-star defensive end Derrick LeBlanc, who is also scheduled to make his college decision among Florida, Oklahoma and Penn State on July 28.
The two are not considered a package deal, as evidenced by the Gators being their only common finalist. However, Florida should still be viewed as the biggest threat to land Walker’s pledge.
That said, Ohio State holds just one commitment at defensive tackle in Dublin (Ohio) Coffman three-star Will Smith Jr., a number that could rise to two with a pledge from Columbus (Ga.) Carver four-star Darron Reed on Monday.
The Buckeyes are looking to take as many as four players at the position from a group that also includes Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic four-star Jason Moore; Chandler, Ariz., four-star A’mauri Washington; and Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett four-star Kayden McDonald, among others.
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