Our countdown of the top 10 Hokies from the 2017 season as voted by The Tech Lunch Pail staff continues at #5 with Ricky Walker.
While Tim Settle received plenty of national attention, Ricky Walker also had a strong season in his own right. Walker’s impressive season should give Hokie fans plenty of reasons to be excited about his potential in 2018. Walker is also our highest ranked player on this list who will be returning next season.
Walker finished this season with 41 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 6 QB hurries, and 1 fumble recovery. While Walker put up only slightly lesser numbers than Settle during the regular season, Walker only received All-ACC Honorable Mention honors.
Walker and Settle were a great defensive tackle duo who played off of each other quite well to make plenty of plays. Overall, Walker was one of the best pass-rushing DTs in the country while being a very good run defender who was consistent throughout the season.
Beyond that, Walker was a leader on this defense who received his fair share of praise from Justin Fuente and Bud Foster for his leadership ability throughout this season.
Ricky Walker announced last week that he would be returning for his senior season, a move that made Hokie fans quite happy. Having Walker back is a major boost for VT not only because of his talent, but also because of his leadership position that makes him quite valuable on a defense losing most of their veteran leadership.
If Walker would have left VT early, he likely would have been a late round pick. However, Walker should benefit from returning this season on a defense where he will receive a significantly higher amount of scouts’ attention as a focal point. Walker also has a chance to be a Preseason All-ACC player as one of the ACC’s top returning defensive linemen.