4-star North Carolina EDGE moving up commitment date naming top 5

·2 min read

Florida made four-star edge rusher Rico Walker’s top five on Friday but it will take a lot for the Gators to land the North Carolina recruit.

After releasing his list, Walker told 247Sports that a commitment was in the works and that he’d be announcing a decision “later in July or August.” He made official visits to UNC and Maryland in June and planned to take the rest in the fall, but now it sounds like those trips will come while he’s committed.

The Gators got on Walker’s radar after Billy Napier brought Jay Bateman on board as an inside linebackers coach. Bateman recruited Walker for the Tarheels before moving to the SEC and kept up the relationship.

“He (Bateman) began coaching at Florida so that raised them on my list,” Walker said. “I just (connect) with him. I just do. He is a cool dude. I enjoy talking to him. Also, me and the tight ends coach (William Peagler), we have a good relationship.”

Are those two relationships enough to get Florida into serious consideration though? It’s unlikely, to say the least. If North Carolina and Maryland don’t land him, Auburn and Tennessee have links to Walker’s father, so Florida could well be in fifth place here.

Napier and Co. can’t do much about it either. The dead period is upon us and Walker’s new timeline suggests that he’ll be committed before he’s able to get to Gainesville again. The staff recently helped flip four-star edge rusher Isaiah Nixon from UCF, so there is a chance for UF to make another steal. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Florida fade from this recruitment either.

Walker is ranked No. 178 overall on the 247Sports composite and is also No. 23 among edge rushers in the class of 2023.

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