Offensive lineman J.B. Walton (6-3, 270, 5.2), of Indian Head, Md., places Nebraska and Penn State solidly at the top of his favorite list.
"Right now Nebraska and Penn State are my top choices. Nebraska is tied with Penn State -- I like them both the same," explained Walton, of Lackey High School.
He has been to Penn State unofficially this season and was at Nebraska on Oct. 27. "I might try to take an official up at Penn State around the tenth of December or so. I don't know yet.
"I may not take any further visits," he continued. "I have been also thinking about Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma and LSU (all offered).
"Nebraska was a real nice trip from the moment we got there. Both of my parents went. They liked it -- everything about it," he explained. "My mom wanted me to consider them because of their academics. She really liked what they had to say about academics.
"I was able to talk with the offensive/defensive line coaches for about 20 minutes solid just about academics. They were telling me things about how Nebraska is like number one in the NCAA for the number of Academic All-Americans or something like that. I mean, there is just no way to fail with so much help there. They have tutors for just about every class you take. There's really no way to fail out. I liked that you could get all that help if you need it." Walton said.
He continued, "When we went to the game (versus Oklahoma), the crowd was going off the hook! They were chanting our name. Then, later in the game when Nebraska was down, the crowd was still in the game. I mean, you expect the crowd to lose interest if they are behind a few touchdowns, but they were true fans and stayed in it. Then the team started answering the call of the fans."
His host was Greg Austin (offensive guard). "We got along real good. In fact, he was kind of in a bad mood, and he came up and apologized to me after the game for being a little upset. I told him I could understand that. I thought he was real cool.
"I was hanging out with a few players on the team and asked them what they thought about the school and the program. I liked what I heard.
"I was shocked at how much stuff there was to do around the school and town. I wasn't expecting there to be anything to do, but they took us around and I was surprised. I thought the place was real good -- lots to do," he said.
Walton took the trip with a fellow Maryland player, A.J. Wallace, a running back from McDonough High School. The two have been friends since young kids. "Yeah, we are looking at a lot of the same schools," Walton said. "But I don't really know if we will end up at the same school. It would be cool, but if it comes down to it, it wouldn't matter if we choose different schools." The two share favorites in Penn State, Nebraska, Florida, Florida State and Oklahoma.
The pair will meet head-to-head on the field Nov. 11 as Lackey (7-2) heads to Pomfret to take on McDonough (6-3).
2.5 GPA/Sept. ACT retake scores unreported