February 3rd, 2014

St. X's Charles Walker is UK-bound

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Conor Revell

Staff Writer


St. X's Charles Walker is UK-bound
Charles Walker / photo by Jana Bollinger

St. Xavier running back Charles Walker announced Monday that he has committed to play football as a preferred walk on at the University of Kentucky next season.

“I think the program is on the rise and I want to be a part of it and help take it to the top,” Walker said. “The coaches are great. Coach Mainord and Coach Brown, those are the two coaches that recruited me the most, and Coach Stoops is a great head coach.”

However, Walker’s days as a running back are over, he will play at the slot wide receiver position in UK’s air raid offense. Walker joins a recruiting class that’s ranked as high as 13thin the country.  

“I love how they spread it out and use the air raid offense,” Walker said. "They use four wide receivers most plays and I’d be a slot receiver. Obviously there is more technicality than that, but I’m excited to be a part of the air raid offense. There are some great quarterbacks coming in and some great QBs already there.”

Walker chose UK over Princeton, Vanderbilt and Penn State.

“I feel really comfortable with the coaching staff and the players that are at UK,” Walker said. “The location is perfect, and I truly feel that the program is on the rise – I want to be a part of it – and take UK to the top.”

At St. X, Walker rushed for 2,641 yards and 33 touchdowns and caught 60 passes for 536 and six touchdowns during his three-year stint on the varsity team under the guidance of Mike Glaser and Will Wolford.

“Hard work meets talent, and talent doesn’t work hard, and that was one of the things Coach Glaser instilled in me and then Coach Wolford followed up on,” Walker said. “I’m also going to take the quality of the whole team and not the individual; those are the two things I’m going to take from St. X.”

Now Walker is headed to Lexington to play for second-year head coach Mark Stoops and offensive coordinator Neal Brown.

While UK went 2-10 during Stoops' first season and didn’t win a Southeastern Conference game for a second straight season, there is reason for optimism with the heralded recruiting class coming in.

“My goal is to work as hard as I can to give our team a better chance of winning,” Walker said. “That’s all it’s ever going to be.”

Drew Barker, a four-star quarterback out of Connor High in Northern Kentucky, and Matt Elam, a five-star defensive tackle from John Hardin High, have both committed to UK and played a role in Walker’s recruiting process. Barker has already signed and is attending classes at UK this spring.

“I have talked with Matt once or twice and I actually ate lunch with Drew this past Saturday when I was up at UK,” Walker said.

The theme for the UK Class of 2018 is "Come be a Hero", and Walker is excited about being a part of that.

And with a mother that graduated from UK and a father that graduated U of L, Walker said he cheered for both, but liked UK better.

“It’s a definitely a dream come to play at UK,” Walker said. “Nothing is better than playing in front of your home state and not many people get to do that. Hopefully I can do well for them and be a weapon.  

Walker plans to arrive on UK’s campus in June after he graduates from St. X and take summer classes. Kentucky will open the 2014 season against Tennessee-Martin Aug. 30 at Commonwealth Stadium.

 

 

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