Jayden Walker thought he had service academy recruiting covered.
Walker’s brother is a freshman on Navy’s track team. His father, David Sr., played four seasons as a cornerback at Ohio University where current Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun and assistants Brian Knorr and Steed Lobotzke were on staff.
So how did Army become Walker’s ultimate choice to play football at the next level?
“We already had connections at both of those places (Navy and Air Force) but Army was the only one we were in the dark on,” said Wallker, a running back at McKinney (Texas) North HS. “I was able to have a very insightful conversation with Q (Quindrelin) Hammonds (Army’s senior safety).
“He answered all of my questions. He kept it 100 percent honest and said the good with the bad, which I really admired and showed me that this place doesn’t just want the best for themselves but also for mr as an individual, which I liked a lot.”
Walker committed to Army one week ago. His West Point visit made the difference.
“All of the academies are really great and have amazing things to offer,” Walker said. “When I had first arrived on campus (at West Point), it was absolutely stunning and I could tell by just one look that they had something special. As far as football, what separated Army from the rest was that they seemed to be making a lot more progress with the new (shotgun) offense.
“They now have a true running back versus in the old offense they had two slotbacks and a fullback. I’m excited to pioneer this new style of play.”
Army’s offense is similar to what McKinney North runs. Walker, who is 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, models his game after his favorite running back and 1985 Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson.
“My dad would show me his highlights all of the time and I just fell in love with his style of play,” Walker said.
Walker said Army’s brotherhood also factored into his decision.
“The culture between the players and how the players interacted with the coaches,” Walker said. “I thought it was really neat that the coaches and the teachers all lived on campus and the players and the students had easy access to the professors as needed. At the end of the day, it was a difficult decision but in my heart I knew West Point was the place for me.”