Profiles in Terpage is back for 2017. Last week, we focused on the offensive line; this week, we’re flipping sides of the ball and looking at the defensive line.
Cavon Walker, DL, No. 18
Weight: 280 lbs
Year: Redshirt senior
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
High school: Friendship Collegiate
How he got to College Park
Walker was a consensus three-star recruit out of Friendship Collegiate Academy, where he was coached by Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, who’s now the defensive backs coach at Maryland. As the No. 45. weak-side defensive end in the Class of 2013, he chose the hometown Terps over Houston, NC State, Purdue and others.
Just like his interior line-mate Kingsley Opara, Walker’s Maryland career got off to a relatively slow start, contributing mostly on special teams as a freshman before missing almost all of his sophomore season with an injury. After moving from linebacker to the defensive line, he bounced back in Year 3, making appearances in 10 games.
Walker finally looked at home on the defensive line last season, having a breakout season last year, notching career highs in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks with 30, 8.5 and 3.5, respectively.
Azubuike Ukandu, last year’s elder statesmen of the interior line, graduated after the sesason, leaving Walker and Opara to hold down the defensive tackle and nose tackle spots. DJ Durkin rotated defensive linemen quite a bit last season, but with so much youth on the interior of the line, it’s unclear who will make the rotation and how often they’ll rotate. In any case, Walker should be a mainstay as we enter fall.
With Ukandu gone and more playing time to go around, Walker builds on each of his career highs from last season and becomes a leader on Maryland’s defensive line. With a second season under strength and conditioning coach Rick Court, Walker adds a few more pounds of good weight and becomes a driving force behind the improvement of the run defense. When all is said and done, Walker’s play puts him in consideration for the 2018 NFL Draft.
This defensive lineman blocked an extra point attempt against Boston College in the Quick Lane Bowl last season.
say_al, Terpluvian, Scaletta and Murderlandboy are the four winners so far this week.