Four-star offensive tackle Rasheed Walker released his top six schools on Wednesday night, and the Tar Heels made the cut. Rounding out the rest of the group are Ohio State, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Rutgers, and Maryland. Walker chose these programs over offers from Arizona State, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Minnesota, Ole Miss, and Tennessee.
North Carolina’s recruitment effort on him has been led by offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic. They first offered Walker in August of 2016, and he visited Chapel Hill on March 4th. It seems that Maryland might benefit from the in-state connection, but 247Sports considers Penn State to be the favorite right now.
The six-foot-five, 280-pound lineman is the eighth-best prospect from the state of Maryland and the 17th overall tackle in the nation. Walker is also ranked as the 201st player on the 247Sports composite ranking for the 2018 class. According to Scout.com, the Waldorf, Maryland resident is a high-ceiling prospect because of his length and athleticism. His upper body strength will need to improve in college for him to unleash his full potential.
All last year we saw that the offensive line was the team’s biggest weakness. Larry Fedora and company sought to fix the problem by recruiting several new linemen for the class of 2017. Though they lost John Heck and John Ferranto to graduation, they gained four new recruits in four-star Jonah Melton, and three-star Marcus McKethan, Billy Ross, and Jordan Tucker.
These new additions will help offset the dearth of talent that is expected to be on the line next year. R.J. Prince and Bentley Spain return for their senior years, while William Sweet and Charlie Heck have the opportunity to improve in their sophomore seasons.
If the Tar Heels can successfully recruit Walker, he would join fellow four-star offensive tackle Avery Jones in the 2018 class. The two are ranked at nearly identical positions with Jones slightly edging out Walker as the 199th best prospect overall and 16th-best offensive tackle. It’s hard to tell what kind of room UNC will have at the position in 2018, but bringing Walker in should remain a priority.