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Top DL Recruit Walter Nolen Details Newly Trimmed List of Schools

Walter Nolen details his top 10 list of schools

Walter Nolen is one of the nation's premier prospects regardless of position. The six-foot-four, 300 pounds defensive line prospect from Cordova (Tenn.) holds over 25 Division 1 offers, and he hears from the who's who of the college football world. Moments ago the coveted interior defender released his trimmed list of schools, and before the announcement, he offered an inside look at each contender. 

Nolen has worked to trim his list since the conclusion of a tumultuous junior season impacted by COVID, a transfer from IMG Academy (Fla.) to St.Benedict's at Auburndale (Tenn.), and a minor late season injury, which he is fully recovered from. 

Reflection from this past season has helped him get to this stage of the recruiting process.  "I just learned to use every opportunity that you have. You never know when you could lose a game, or they could take a game away from you or end the season just like that. I just learned how to make sure to take advantage of every opportunity I have," Nolen said. 

Now, he has an opportunity to further his career at ten of the best schools in America, which he discusses below. 

On Alabama: "Really everything. I loved what little I got to see at the game when I went to watch them play LSU. I enjoy talking with the coaches and building a relationship over these last few months. It has been a great time with them."

Auburn: "How they had Derrick Brown, just watching him was unlike any other thing I have seen."

Clemson: "Watching the freshmen they have on the D-Line (Myles Murphy and Bryan Breese) and seeing what they can do made me want to push myself harder. Just seeing that even no matter how deep the roster is, you can still have a chance to play at one of the top schools in the country."

Florida: "I feel like, in their defense, I would be able to be myself, and I know I would have some strong backup coming behind me. They always have a good defense ready to go get it and an explosive offense ready to score most of the time."

LSU: "Just based off the relationship I have with Coach O as a person and knowing that if I go to that school, I am going to be able to be coached by the head coach even in my position. I will be able to have some one-on-one time to ask him questions about what I can do better, what I need to do to get better and stuff like that." 

Michigan: "It is basically the coaching staff and me being able to talk to coach Harbaugh a lot and getting to know him as a person and how he wants to run his program and be one of the national competitors coming into the next few years." 

Ohio State: "How they produce the top defensive lineman every year coming into the draft and being able to talk to coach Larry Johnson and getting to know him as a person. Every week I talk to him is building into the relationship even more, not just as a football player and coach. It is two people talking to each other." 

Oregon: "It is basically how he (Coach Mario Cristobal) runs his team like an SEC school, even though they are not in the SEC, just how he brands his teams and works with his players. I feel like it is unlike any other."

Tennessee: "Not really much changed (with Josh Heupel taking over). You have to be prepared for the worst at any time. You never know when a program changes their whole coaching staff or even the head coach.  It feels pretty great knowing that he wants to go out and get some of the best defensive players he can to pick up the slack that some of the players might leave off."

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USC and the potential of teaming up with Korey Foreman: "It is great. As a freshman, I was watching some of Korey's highlights, and it made me want to push myself harder in the weight room and even on the field. I feel like that would be a great duo on the field."

So, what is next for the coveted defender? He has a plan in place, but it is going to keep people guessing for a while. 

"I am going to take my visits, and I am going to play my senior year before I make any more cuts," Nolen said of his next step. 

Narrowing his focus to these select schools will allow the dominant prospect to enjoy his final chapter of high school, while sifting through the process at his own pace. " Basically, just improving myself and getting ready to go to the next level, and enjoying my senior season," Nolen said of his personal goal for the upcoming year. 


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