For some of the players North Texas has recruited this summer, the opportunity to play in Apogee Stadium has been the biggest draw.
For others, it has been UNT’s move to Conference USA in 2013 or playing for head coach Dan McCarney.
Those were all factors for Fort Bend Austin offensive lineman Dominic Walker, who orally committed to UNT recently in part because the school has an academic program a little out of the norm for athletes.
Walker wants to be an engineer, and he has all the credentials one would expect of a student attracted to the field — from a 3.0 grade-point average to a 1770 SAT score.
Those credentials, combined with the fact that he is a top high school player, drew the attention of FCS schools in the region as well as Baylor, where Walker will attend a camp later this summer.
Despite the interest other schools have shown, Walker said his commitment to UNT is firm.
“I really like their engineering program, and that they are an up-and-coming school that is getting back to where they were a few years ago when they were going to bowl games,” Walker said. “I’m set on North Texas.”
Walker has family in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and said he enjoyed his visit to Denton.
Oral commitments are nonbinding. The first day recruits in the class of 2013 can sign national letters of intent is Feb. 6.
UNT projects that Walker (6-5, 270 pounds) will play guard at the college level.
“North Texas got a diamond in the rough,” Fort Bend Austin coach Dan Schreiber said. “He is thin and wears a size 17 shoe. He is physical, athletic and is a better person than he is a football player.
“I would be surprised if he isn’t 320 and starting for North Texas in three years.”
Walker was recruited by UNT tight ends and special teams coach Kent Riddle and offensive line coach Mike Simmonds.
Walker was a second-team All-District 23-5A selection last season.
Schreiber said that 62 college assistant coaches have come to see his players during spring practice. Most were interested in Walker, who told schools that were considering jumping into the race for his commitment that he already had settled on UNT, where he says he will be able to grow as a person and a player.
Walker is confident he will be able to add weight in college, where Schreiber believes he could develop into a player who could fit in anywhere along UNT’s offensive line.
“He is like a lot of big kids when they are young,” Schreiber said. “As he gets more coordinated, he could play anywhere.”
Walker says he believes the intelligence he has shown on and off the field will help him make the transition to playing on the college level.
“Being smart helps when you are trying to remember plays and react when a defense changes,” Walker said.
Walker is the third offensive lineman to commit to UNT’s 2013 signing class, joining Keller tackle Cody Nelson and Lake Travis tackle Hunter Siddons.
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
The following is a list of players who have committed to become members of North Texas’ 2013 signing class:
Fort Bend Austin