We have been watching Junior Walling of McNary HS (Oregon) for over a year now. Last weeks game was just too good so we are finally featuring him here at NWPR and it is long overdue. The 6’2″- 220 lb. 2020 RB/LB put down a statement game vs crosstown rival South Salem. Before the night was over he had posted 210 yards rushing, 3 TD’s, 1 two-point conversion, 9 tackles, and 3 sacks. The game was tied going into the 4th and Junior and his Celtics scored to win 44-30.
That win also made them the outright Mountain Valley Conference Champions and set them up with a first-round playoff game against Lakeridge this Friday. Beating the Pacers will be no easy task, especially on the road, because they are loaded. But let me say this. When you have a team that is as talented as McNary who has a weapon like this guy, and it is raining, good things can happen. Walling is one of several very talented Celtics who are led by supremely talented QB Erik Barker, also a Junior, who is a load at 6’3″-205 lbs. Barker has terrific presence and can launch the ball all over the field and is clearly among the best QB’s in the NW with true D1 talent. Along with a talented line and a host of other skill guys, Walling and Barker are looking to get it done this week.
For me, I am looking at size and skill. Junior holds an offer from Oregon State and is a classing pounder. If he has the ball in his hands he is always playing like a man possessed. His speed, while not prototypical, is compensated for by his power and lower body strength. The last few weeks we have been witnessing the emergence of a power back the likes of which we rarely see; Joey Alfieri (Jesuit / Stanford) and Ryan Nall (Central Catholic /OSU / Chicago Bears) were the last couple guys with this skill set. Junior’s speed off the ball on defense is above average and his lines of attack are superb. Clearly, he will lean towards defense but like Nall he may find himself more needed in the backfield. Either way, he will be a terrific college football player.
The Cal Bears, the Duckies, the Huskies, and many others are recruiting him. As a Junior, he will just need to finish strong and let the recruiting happen because the offers are coming. He is too big, too strong, and too good not to gain more offers. I love the OSU offer and that fit seems perfect for a big guy like this.
Junior discussed his future with me, “Things with OSU are going really well. I have been there couple times already this season. I have also had unofficial visits to Oregon and Washington. In addition to OSU, I am being recruited primarily by Washington, Washington State, USC, UCLA, Cal, Utah, Notre Dame, Northwestern, and have an unofficial visit scheduled to Purdue on 11/17, when they play Wisconsin.”
Purdue? Now we are talking National love and once a kid from Oregon gets a look like this East of the Rockies big things can happen. Time will tell where he will go.
Junior is a 3 or 4 star caliber player and one to watch as we move ahead. Look for him to be a leader for the entire NW as coaches decide where to make those offers which they have so few of to give.