|Blake Walker has spent the months of April and May talking to NCAA Division I football coaches from the Mountain West Conference and Big Sky (photo contributed).|
Walker - who was once listed at 320 pounds during the 2014-15 season - has had college football visitors swinging by the West Visalia campus during the NCAA Spring Evaluation Period. Coaches from nine different colleges have noticed a slimmer Walker.
"I'm down to 302, but I've gained a lot of muscle and I feel faster," Walker said. "I've been doing daily workout programs at school to build strength. Three mornings a week, I work out with Core Active (a training facility in Visalia) for agility and quickness."
Walker said NCAA Division I coaches from Fresno State, UC Davis, Sacramento State, San Diego State, Nevada, Weber State, Cal Poly, Utah State and Wyoming have chatted with him. He said "all the coaches are really friendly and positive, plus they liked my size." He adds that Fresno State "stands out so far."
Central Valley Christian is known in the 559 for its big boys up front. Ten linemen, including Walker, measured between 225 to 320 pounds last season as the Cavaliers finished the year as the Central Section Division IV runner-up (lost to Liberty of Madera 24-6 in the D-IV championship contest).
Walker is the most towering presence along the Cavs' front line. Central Valley Christian ran a majority of its running plays up the right guard's side. Walker's highlight film shows the Class of 2016 prospect shoving defensive linemen out the way so his running backs can move the chains.
While he's known for plowing the road for CVC's running attack, Walker has aimed to become quicker and more athletic for his upcoming senior season. Along with his agility and weight room workouts, he's watching highlight films of his favorite NFL offensive tackle to help fine tune his game.
"Joe Staley of the San Francisco 49ers has been my favorite to watch for the past few years," Walker said. "He looks like he plays full speed all game and he's a great down field blocker."
Walker isn't just receiving visits from different college coaches along with the rest of the returning CVC senior class, he's taken trips to UC Davis and Sacramento State during the schools' junior days. He'll be one of 13 returning seniors from last year's 11-2 Cavaliers team.