By: Jake Hubbard
Senior Staff Writer, Junior Editor, Co-Host
The All Vol Call in Show
Wesley Walker; If you don’t know the name, learn it. I have very high expectations for the senior safety this upcoming season for Tennessee. If you have watched Walker in the past, he has made some explosive plays. From pass deflections to rocking a quarterback’s blind side, when Walker makes a play… you know it.
Walker is a transfer from Georgia Tech, where in his last two seasons with the Yellow Jackets he averaged 46 total tackles. Walker found himself a key part of Tennessee’s defense last season, filling in behind the likes of Jaylen McCollough and Trevon Flowers. Playing behind the two aforementioned starters, Walker still compiled four pass deflections, one interception, one sack, and a handful of QB rushes. With Flowers moving on in life, it is now Walker’s time to shine. PFF graded Walker as the best returning safety in the SEC.
With a Tennessee secondary that found itself outside the top 35 in efficiency and giving up 320 yards through the air per contest, this defense definitely has room for improvement. I believe Walker’s quickness, pure speed, and play making ability could prove as the true “X factor” on just how successful (or unsuccessful) this Tennessee defense will be. Walker not only has the physical attributes to make positive things happen, but he has the “go get ‘em” mentality that every defensive coach thirsts for.
Can one player make that big of an impact on the secondary? The short answer: yes. Players like Dale Carter, Deon Grant, Eric Berry carried the same attributes listed above that Walker possesses. They not only performed at an all-time high for themselves, but they made everyone around them better. Wesley Walker has that capability, he just needs to unleash it. I believe he will do just that in 2023. Georgia has shown that games are not only one in the trenches, but also in the secondary. If Walker steps up in the way I believe he can… watch out. Tennessee will be dangerous.