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Alabama LB commit Quay Walker will visit Florida on Jan. 12.

Assessing Florida’s competition for Alabama LB commit Quay Walker

Zach Abolverdi

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This time next week, the dead period will be over and Florida will be welcoming its latest round of official visitors to campus.

Florida’s first recruiting weekend in January will be headlined by Alabama commit Quay Walker. The 4-star linebacker from Crisp County High School (Cordele, Ga.) will visit the Gators on Jan. 12, the first of four trips he’ll take before making his final decision on National Signing Day.

Walker calls Florida his dream school and feels that he would be a perfect fit for Todd Grantham’s 3-4 scheme. The Gators are in serious contention, but they aren’t the only threat to Alabama.

He’s visiting Georgia on Jan. 19, Auburn on Jan. 28 and Tennessee on Feb. 2. Of the three SEC programs, UGA is Florida’s biggest competition for Walker. The Under Armour All-American revealed this week that he almost signed with the Bulldogs during the early signed period.

Walker took a trip to Georgia in November and has a strong relationship with UGA inside linebackers coach Glenn Schumann, who serves as his primary recruiter. Confidence is high in Athens that Walker will eventually flip to the Bulldogs, but it’s not a slam dunk yet.

The nation’s No. 3 outside linebacker made multiple trips to Auburn in 2017 and the Tigers are also a legitimate contender. Auburn DE Markaviest Bryant and Walker are close friends and former high school teammates, which could help the Tigers sway him to the Plains.

Tennessee is in the mix because of Walker’s relationship with new Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt, who recruited him to Alabama. His final trip to Rocky Top could shake up his recruitment if it goes well, but the Vols are likely No. 5 on his list at this time.

The Gators appear to be in better shape than Tennessee, but they have ground to make up on Alabama, Auburn and Georgia. I don’t expect him to stick with the Crimson Tide.