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Or maybe we need to slow down on this. Despite reports from everyone from Rivals and ESPN.com that Maurice "Escalade" Walker will be committing to your Golden Gophers tomorrow when the spring signing period officially begins, there seems to be some question as to just how much of a "lock" this "lock" is.
From what I've picked up from various sources culled from the Gopher Hole posters, both Walker and his father have backed off a bit, with the dad reporting that Pitt, Virginia, Indiana, and Kentucky are all still in the mix and Walker himself telling GopherLady that he hasn't made a decision yet. Of course, these reports directly conflict with some earlier reports, including a text directly from Walker saying that he has decided to play for the Gophers but was asked by Tubby not to announce anything until tomorrow so "out of respect I'm waiting until tomorrow to make everything official."
There seem to be two schools of thought as to what's going on. The first, most optimistic and I think most likely is that Walker has made up his mind to play for the Gophers but for whatever reason - Tubby, his dad, wanting to make his choice a bigger media spectacle - he's backing off so he can make an official announcement with at least a little drama. The second, which seems a bit too doom and gloom even for me, is that he really is changing his mind due to Cory Joseph.
If you follow Gopher recruiting, you know that Walker and Joseph are good friends, good enough even that Walker was trying to get Joseph to come play with him wherever he signed. It was also obvious that Walker loved the Gophers and Tubby, and was basically ready to sign before he even stepped foot on campus. So the conspiracy thought is that Walker decided to be a Gopher and was expecting Joseph to follow him, but has since talked with Cory and found out that he has either decided on another team (Texas) or has eliminated the Gophers from his list without making that info public.
Personally, I think it's the first one. Or at least I hope so. Walker is a great get - 6-10, 300 lb. centers with offers from Kansas don't exactly come knocking at the door often - and I love the idea of sticking somebody with that kind of size next to Mbakwe next year at times. Hell, Ralph can play small forward.
Let's hope this is all nothing and we'll get official word tomorrow that Walker has signed and that we hear Joseph is following him here a few days later. If not, I don't know what plan B is, but the Gophers would end up with one of the worst recruiting classes in the Big Ten, and I would probably cry for three days.
Speaking of crying for three days, JaJuan Johnson has entered the NBA draft, thus ending his reign as "The college KG" and giving the NBA a Hakim Warrick clone. I won't miss him lighting up the Gophers, but I'll miss watching that sweet J and his excellent work on both ends of the floor. I won't be following his career further because I don't watch the NBA because I'm not retarded.