Finally, the wait is over. Defensive end DeMarcus Walker out of Jacksonville’s Sandlewood High School in Florida got the news he’s been waiting to hear for months from the NCAA Clearinghouse. Due to a problem with his high school transcripts, Walker was not able to participate in spring practices at Florida State, despite enrolling in January. Today, Walker was told that everything was cleared and he could begin football workouts for the Seminoles.
The question becomes, did the time off cost Walker significant playing time this year? Part of the reason he enrolled early was to get acclimated to playing at the college level so that he could become a part of the rotation at DE this fall. With the losses of Bjoern Werner, Brandon Jenkins, and Tank Carradine, the Noles are in need of some help off the edge. Walker, a highly rated DE coming out of high school, was considered a solid candidate to replace them until the snafu.
The issue has been a huge source of frustration for Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher who was confused as to why Walker’s classes were handled differently that others. He told the Orlando Sentinel:
“It is frustrating because those classes have been used at other schools and been OK. Now all of a sudden, they aren’t. I don’t know why. It was just one class anyway. For one semester.”
Well, as of today, the frustration is over. Walker can now fully participate in football workouts and prepare for the 2013 season. The time missed will certainly impact his ability to play right away, but don’t expect him to stay on the sidelines long.
B.L. writes for Rant Sports and can be followed on Twitter @coachlip