2017 draft prospect Charles Walker is leaving the University of Oklahoma in order to prepare for next year’s NFL draft, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Walker informed Sooners head coach Bob Stoops of his decision today, per Rapoport.
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The reaction to Walker’s decision has been swift and unkind, both from within the team and from outsiders. “Quitting on your teammates is hard to take as a coach,” said Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops in perhaps the sternest rebuke of Walker’s move to leave school (Twitter link via Ryan Abers of the Oklahoman). Meanwhile, Walker’s work ethic had already been questioned by scouts, according to Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (Twitter link), who guesses that Walker’s decision won’t be well-received.
Walker drew praise for his 2015 campaign, during which he posted six sacks and 36 tackles in 11 games. This season, however, he’s been limited by a concussion, and has played in only four contests. Draftniks differ on his valuation, as well, as Miller ranks Walker as the No. 35 overall player, while CBSSports.com places Walker just 91st overall as the ninth-best defensive tackle.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.