Walker thinking big for Seminoles’ defense this season
By Tim Linafelt
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – DeMarcus Walker made a few big statements at the ACC Football Kickoff on this past Friday.
And that’s to say nothing of the crisp, paisley bow tie he wore during his interview session.
One of the FSU’s top returning defenders and the top candidate to fill the leadership shoes left by cornerback Jalen Ramsey’s departure, Walker wasted no time laying out his expectations.
“I consider myself the best defensive end in the country,” Walker said.
Not much room for interpretation there.
It should be noted that Walker’s proclamation came during a longer thought about Florida State and Clemson, and each school’s place in the college football landscape.
Walker also believes that Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and FSU running back Dalvin Cook are the best in the nation at what they do, too.
But when asked to elaborate, Walker allowed that there are some great defensive ends in college football, including a few in the ACC. He just believes his work ethic puts him over the top.
“I work my tail off every week, day in, day out,” he said. “If you work your behind off at your own craft, why would you put somebody else in front of you? It’s just a confidence thing.”
He’s got reason to feel so confident. Walker last season was a revelation for Florida State, emerging as one of the program’s most productive pass rushers in several years.
The Jacksonville native finished with 10.5 sacks – the first FSU defender to reach double-digit sacks since 2012 – and 15.5 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, a blocked field goal attempt and an interception.
The numbers are impressive on their own, but made even more so when considering the late-season surge that Walker used to achieve them. Starting with the Seminoles’ Oct. 31 win over Syracuse, Walker recorded 39 of his 58 tackles over FSU’s last six games.
That includes career performances in a 27-2 win at Florida (nine tackles, 2.5 sacks, blocked kick) and in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl against Houston (13 tackles, interception).
And Walker has no plans on slowing down.
“You guys haven’t seen nothing yet,” he said. “I’ve been working. I mean that. You guys are going to see a huge leap.”
As he continued in what was a nearly hour-long Q&A session, Walker had some things to say about his defensive teammates, too.