|Blake Walker (No. 75) was one of many Central Section NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision signings on National Signing Day, as the 6-foot-8 tackle signed with San Jose State on Wednesday, Feb. 3 (photo contributed).|
In the final hour of the 2016 recruiting season, Blake Walker of Central Valley Christian (Visalia) finally became a national recruit – and ended an 11-year dry spell at his school.
The lofty offensive tackle, who wound up with late scholarship offers from San Jose State and Azusa Pacific, ended his late recruiting chase on Wednesday, Feb. 3, by signing his letter of intent with the Spartans. The stroke of his pen signified that Walker became the Cavaliers’ first NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision signing since Ryan Colburn chose Fresno State in 2005.
“I'm really excited to get the opportunity to play at SJSU. It's something I've worked hard for… for a very long time,” Walker said. “I feel very blessed to have this opportunity to play at the DI level. It really took a team effort which helped me get to where I'm at today.”
That team he’s referring to were on hand during his ceremony inside the CVC gymnasium. All of them not only witnessed the 6-foot-8, 303-pound tackle sign his life away, but said a prayer with him before joining the Spartans’ 2016 class.
Walker was known in the Central Section for using his size and tree trunk-like arms to bulldoze defensive linemen into the grass. He said the SJSU offensive line coaches were who reached out to him.
“They made me feel comfortable and excited about going to SJSU,” Walker said. “I was invited up for a game and I liked that the coaches showed us around. They (SJSU) have nice facilities and I felt good walking out on to the field for pregame.”
Walker added that he likes the fact that he’s a four hour drive away from home, that way his family can watch a home game and he won’t have to travel cross country to recharge himself after the season. Walker hopes to obtain a business degree from SJSU and dive into his family business.
He had to overcome playing for a school that not only endured a long drought with producing an FBS signing, but also a program playing in the shadow of Tulare/Kings County kingpins El Diamante, Tulare Union, Mission Oak, Dinuba, Hanford and Lemoore.
Walker, though, is thankful he got a chance to wear the CVC colors.
Said Walker: “I enjoyed going to a small school. It was always a fun challenge to compete against schools that were much larger than us and walk away with a victory. But being from a small school you don't get a lot of recognition. The last two summers I spent a lot of time going to college football camps to get noticed. I do want to thank God for giving me this opportunity and all the coaches who helped me get better in every way possible.”