After making an early commitment to Michigan, Buford (Ga.) High School linebacker Mantrez Walker has been courted as a national recruit and taken visits as such since the fall.
The class of 2025 recruit amassed nearly 30 scholarship offers in the process, but announced a major trim to his list on Sunday afternoon. Colorado, LSU, Miami, Ole Miss and Penn State are the junior’s final programs under consideration.
Walker broke down each finalist with Rivals.
Colorado: “They’ve been on me the most of day with contact daily and coach (Andre’) Hart constantly is in pursuit for me. They see me coming in and playing day one and that’s something I value dearly. Colorado is a great scene and I feel like they could be the catapult into changing college football around. Coach Prime has a great vision and with some of the NFL coaches being on staff there are many connections and knowledge coming from the league. Who wouldn’t want to play for a Hall of Famer?”
LSU: “The culture down in the Bayou. It’s different t down there. It’s a real family environment. I felt that when I went down there last spring. They have a winning culture and I value that a lot. I feel like I could be apart of history at LSU. They are building their 25 class good right now and they need some pieces to make some waves in the SEC. I like the coaches energy and they showed love to me early in the process as well.”
Miami: “Consistent love shown from the coaches, coach D-Nic (Derek Nicholson) passion to do better and the fact that he played linebacker and had been in the same position I’m in. Also my visit was great, my parents loved the environment. I feel that I am wanted there. I love (Mario) Cristobal’s energy and desire to want to get The U back to how it used to be and that is something I would love to be apart of with the GOAT of LBs coming from there in Ray Lewis. I feel like I’m one of the best linebackers in the country and could bring that tenacity back to The U under an energetic LB coach like coach D-Nic.”
Ole Miss: “Also consistent love from the coaches, coach (Pete) Golding’s knowledge of the game, coach (Wes) Neighbors’ passion for making Ole Miss’ linebacker group the most productive on the field, (Lane) Kiffin being a great guy and just a players’ coach. Winning culture at Ole Miss with them being apart of a staff that coaches my favorite linebacker ever and somebody I model my game after in Reuben Foster stood out to me a lot.”
Penn State: “Them being LBU and consistently putting linebackers into the league. They’ve recruited me since my sophomore year and although Manny (Diaz) left I still feel some love from them. Coach (James) Franklin has great stability in Happy Valley and that’s something that is very important, especially in these days of the portal and stuff. I feel like they just need the right pieces to get over that hump and I feel like I could help with that.”
Walker is planning an official visit to Colorado during the spring, though other programs are likely to host him in the coming months. A preseason decision is expected.