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51 DAYS TO 2017 KICKOFF: Reggie Walker

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In which BracketCat counts down the 51st day until the 2017 kickoff with a profile of defensive end Reggie Walker.

#51 Reggie Walker
Here’s to expecting big things in 2017 from Freshman All-American Reggie Walker (51), the first Wildcats frosh to tally 6.5 sacks in more than 30 years.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

#51 Reggie Walker

Redshirt Sophomore | 6-2 | 235 lbs. | Ponchatoula, Louisiana
Reggie Walker
Reggie Walker
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Defensive End
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Starter
  • Status: On Scholarship

Reginald Ngozi Walker (b. April 22, 1996) is an athletic defensive end who shined as a redshirt freshman and easily should keep hold of his starting spot while increasing his statistical production in 2017.

Walker chose the Wildcats over offers from Arkansas, Southern Miss and Texas Tech. He batted heavily for playing time as a true freshman before redshirting in 2015.

Walker played under head coach Hank Tierney at Ponchatoula High School, where he helped the Green Wave to earn an 11-2 record and a trip to the Louisiana Class 5A state playoffs. He was ranked the 35th-best outside linebacker by Rivals.com and 53rd by ESPN after recording 57 tackles, including 10 sacks, as a senior in 2014.

An all-state player who was a two-time all-district performer and district Most Valuable Player as a senior, Walker also competed in basketball and baseball. His brother, Robert, previously played football at Mississippi State.

Last season, Walker gave us all hope for life after Jordan Willis, playing in all 13 games with 11 starts, and collecting 11.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks to earn Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year accolades from the league’s coaches and ESPN.com, in addition to Freshman All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America and Campus Insiders.

He became the first Wildcat since 2000 to earn the Big 12’s top defensive freshman honor. His 6.5 sacks were the most by a K-State freshman in 32 years.

Walker finished seventh in the Big 12 in sacks and eighth in tackles for loss, but was tops among freshmen in both categories. He also ranked fourth nationally among freshmen in sacks.

Walker finished second in school history in sacks and tackles for loss among freshmen.

He had a particularly stellar end to the season, totaling 5.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks over the final four games, which included a career-best two sacks at TCU.

Walker carded tackles for loss in six of his final nine games, including a career-high 2.5 at both Baylor at TCU. He also had two tackles for loss against Texas Tech.

Walker set a career best with six tackles against Oklahoma, while he had five against both Stanford and Texas A&M. He also forced three fumbles on the year, in addition to two fumble recoveries and two passes defended.

Walker tied for second nationally among freshmen in forced fumbles, while he was tied for 30th overall and tied for third in the Big 12. Also the Big 12’s top freshman in fumble recoveries, he was named to ESPN.com’s All-Big 12 Underclassmen and Athlon’s Big 12 All-Freshman teams.