Florida's Walker enrolled in classes
Published: Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 12:58 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 12:58 p.m.
Florida finally added the second big piece to its 2013 class on Saturday, and it couldn't come at a better time.
McDonald's All-American forward Chris Walker is enrolled in school for the second semester, Florida announced. The 6-foot-10 freshman from Bonifay began practicing with the Gators on Saturday.
But Walker still needs to be cleared by the NCAA before he can compete in his first game. Florida coach Billy Donovan has ruled Walker out for UF's next game Tuesday against Memphis in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
“Chris Walker has been admitted to UF and is eligible to practice, but is not yet eligible to compete,” Florida said in a statement released Saturday morning.
Walker's pending arrival to UF was first reported last week by the website onlygators.com.
In Walker, Florida adds a potential impact player to its frontline. Walker was rated as a consensus top-15 player in the nation by most recruiting websites because of his ability to play in the open floor, finish around the rim, rebound and block shots. Walker led Class A Holmes County to a state title last season, finishing with 30 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks in the state title game.
Walker and freshman McDonald's All-American point guard Kasey Hill were the two signees in a 2013 UF recruiting class that ESPN.com rated 10th in the nation. But due to his inability to complete required core courses at Holmes County, Walker was unable to enroll at UF in the fall semester. Walker completed his required coursework during the fall to gain admittance.
If or when Walker sees the court, he will provide depth to an all-senior UF starting frontline of center Patric Young, forward Will Yeguete and forward Casey Prather. Given the uncertain status of junior center Damontre Harris, who has been suspended since the beginning of the season, Walker should see immediate playing time in UF's frontcourt rotation when he's cleared by the NCAA.
Walker is the 15th McDonald's All-American to enroll at UF under Donovan. Florida has three former McDonald's All-Americans on its roster — Young, Hill and Walker.
Walker will wear uniform number 23.