Recruiting: WR Walker switches pledge to Auburn

2013-01-25T19:30:00Z 2013-01-26T17:19:47Z Recruiting: WR Walker switches pledge to AuburnBy BRIAN CHRISTOPHERSON / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

Nebraska is down a pledge in its class after wide receiver Dominic Walker said Friday he plans to sign with Auburn.

It was not exactly a shocking development, considering Walker’s very public recent flirtations with the Tigers, including a visit to the Auburn campus last weekend.

The Orlando, Fla., receiver played his college decision to the hilt on his Twitter account, responding to and retweeting fans from both programs.

Walker announced his decision on 810 AM in Orlando, then tweeted #AU on his Twitter account, which still cited the hashtags #GBR, #NEBRASKACOMMIT and #HUSKERNATION in his profile description.

During his radio interview, the receiver cited distance as the main reason for his change of plans.

”I have a lot of people that come up to Auburn a lot, so it’s not too far from home,” Walker said.

A three-star prospect, Walker committed to Nebraska in late December.

But after visiting Auburn, and having a teammate commit to the Tigers, the receiver began to talk of his interest in the SEC school.

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini and receivers coach Rich Fisher visited the receiver Monday. After the visit, Walker told various recruiting sites of being 95 to 100 percent committed to Nebraska.

But after a visit from Auburn coaches the following night, Walker told BigRedReport.com “I’m more like 75 percent committed to Nebraska now” and said, “I've basically just got to sleep on it and keep evaluating everything.”

With Walker off Nebraska’s list, the Huskers have 23 known recruits in the class with a week-and-a-half until the Feb. 6 signing day.

Nebraska has one wide receiver in the class -- Kevin Gladney of Akron, Ohio -- and another athlete capable of playing the position in Tre’vell Dixon.

Although the Huskers have been courting other receiver recruits -- James Clark (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.) and Quincy Adeboyejo (Cedar Hill, Texas) -- few analysts believe either one will choose Nebraska.

Still, Nebraska is considered well stocked at the position heading into this season, with veterans Kenny Bell, Jamal Turner and Quincy Enunwa returning.

There’s also Tyler Evans and Jordan Westerkamp, a touted recruit from last year’s class who redshirted last year.

Tyler Wullenwaber and Taariq Allen, trying to come back from significant knee injuries during the fall, also are players to keep in mind. Allen’s injury is significant enough that he is not expected to participate in spring ball.

* Looking a class ahead: We haven’t made it to 2013 signing day yet, but that’s not going to keep Husker coaches from paying notice to next year’s class, too.

Nebraska will host recruits for its invitation-only Junior Day on Saturday.

According to HuskerOnline.com, those planning to attend include:

* Defensive ends Peyton Newell (Hiawatha, Kan.) and Harrison Phillips (Millard West).

* Wide receivers R.J. Urzendowski (Creighton Prep) and Monte Harrison (Lee’s Summit, Mo.).

* Linebacker Henry McGrew (Stilwell, Kan).

* Offensive lineman D.J. Foster (Lincoln Southeast).

* Athlete Luke Gifford (Southeast).

* Defensive backs Trey Carr (Omaha Burke), Clay Fisher (Millard North), Logan Cheadle (Lee’s Summit, Mo.) and Kenzo Cotton (Papillion-La Vista).

* Quarterback Easton Stick (Creighton Prep).

* Running backs Justin Jackson (Carol Stream, Ill.), Austin Rose (Lincoln North Star) and 2015 recruit Calvin Strong (Omaha North).

* Kicker Drew Brown (Carroll, Texas).

Newell, Foster and Harrison already have offers from Nebraska.

* Roster news: Reserve offensive lineman Nick Ash will not return for his fifth year as a Husker, an athletic department spokesman confirmed.

A member of Nebraska’s 2009 recruiting class, the native of Keller, Texas, graduated as a finance major in December in just 3½ years.

His departure opens up another potential scholarship slot.

* Getting their kicks: Brett Maher will participate in the 2013 Quicken Loans All-Star Football Challenge, a skills competition that is scheduled to air at 9 p.m. Feb. 2 on ESPN2.

The former Husker kicker will participate in an event called the “Speed Kick,” competing against Florida State’s Dustin Hopkins, Florida’s Caleb Sturgis and Louisiana-Lafayette’s Brett Baer.

Reach Brian Christopherson at bchristopherson@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. You can follow him on Twitter @HuskerExtraBC.

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