It was no secret that Chris Walker was a kid Florida needed to get in the class of 2013. Walker is an in-state prospect, the Gators already have a commitment from AAU teammate Kasey Hill – and coach Billy Donovan was at every one of Walker's games this summer.
|Chris Walker and AAU teammate Kasey Hill comprise the No. 1 recruiting class in the country for Florida. (Adidas)|
The hard work paid off, as Walker announced his commitment to Florida on Sunday morning via a pre-filmed mixtape at HomeTeamHoops.
"I will be playing college basketball for the University of Florida," he said. "I will be teaming up with Kasey Hill, and together we will be the best duo in college and we will win a national championship."
Walker, a 6-foot-10 power forward Holmes County (Fla.) who runs with the Florida Elite on the AAU circuit, is ranked No. 8 in CBSSports.com's Top 100 for the class of 2013. Given his size, athleticism and skill set, Walker has tremendous potential. He can run the floor extremely well, and loves to finish in transition. In a half-court set, Walker can face-up and knock down jumpers or post up down low. Defensively, he is one of the better shot blockers in the class and he can rebound as well.
Walker chose Florida over Kentucky, Louisville, Kansas, Syracuse, Ohio State and Baylor. Kentucky was considered a major player in his recruitment – and even the potential favorite – but the Wildcats never officially extended an offer, leaving Donovan and the Gators as the choice for Walker.
"I made this choice from my heart," he added on Twitter. "I wanted to go to a team that I'ma get better as a player and a individual. We WILL make it to Final 4."
With Hill (No. 6 in the class) and now Walker in the fold, Florida's 2013 recruiting class immediately vaults to the No. 1 spot in the rankings. Moreover, Virginia Tech transfer Dorian Finney-Smith will be eligible in two seasons – Florida could have its most talent in years. Kenny Boynton, Mike Rosario and Erik Murphy all leave after this season too, so it wouldn't be surprising if the Gators' lineup had some fresh faces right off the bat.
Given Walker's enormous ceiling and the time Florida invested in recruiting him, this is a monster pickup for Donovan and the Gators.