In case there was any doubt in your mind, new Rhode Island Rams head football coach Jim Fleming is doing work. With National Signing Day rapidly approaching, Rhody is starting to see some recruits lock in. First up, Russell Walton, a 2013 cornerback from Montclair, NJ. His former high school team was the first to report the news via Twitter.
2013 grad Russell Walton has committed to Rhode Island and has a full scholarship.
— Montclair Mounties (@mhsmounties) January 12, 2014
If it seems a little odd that he’s a 2013 high school grad (and not 2014), here’s your answer. Walton spent the fall at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia before committing to URI. The New Jersey native checks in at 6’1″, 175 pounds and was a two-way player in high school, spending time at both wide receiver and defensive back. He’s listed on recruiting sites as a cornerback only, so it’s likely that he’ll be coming to Rhode Island to do just that. We won’t know for sure until it’s official, however.
Walton recorded 41 tackles in 12 games (a 3.4 per-game average) in his senior season at Montclair High School, including 19 solo tackles. He also tallied three interceptions and five pass deflections for a Mounties team that finished the season at 12-0.
In terms of Walton’s play, he’s a fast, physical player who can use his speed to recover to the ball very quickly. He also has the wheels to get to the outside when pursuing would-be rushers, and has the sideline-to-sideline skills that any coach in the country would want. Check out his video from ESPN.com below, which shows Walton on both offense and defense.