Walker is the No. 217 overall prospect and No. 29 EDGE in the 2023 cycle, according to the On3 Consensus, a complete and equally weighted industry-generated average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies. He is also the No. 8 player in North Carolina.
The 6-foot-3, 234-pound prospect was previously the second-highest-rated prospect in the Tar Heels’ 2023 recruiting class. Following Walker’s decision, North Carolina’s group dropped six spots to No. 27 in the 2023 On3 Consensus Team Recruiting Rankings. It still ranks No. 5 in the ACC.
Additionally, the Tar Heels currently hold commitments from three of the top 12 players in North Carolina. They are Durham (N.C.) Southern four-star EDGE Jaybron Harvey, Harrisburg (N.C.) Hickory Ridge four-star wide receiver Christian Hamilton and Maiden (N.C.) four-star wide receiver Chris Culliver.
Walker has an On3 NIL Valuation of $24K. The On3 NIL Valuation is an index that looks to set the standard market value for both high school and college-level athletes. The NIL valuation does not act as a tracker of the value of NIL deals an athlete has completed to date. It rather signifies an athlete’s value at a certain moment in time.
Rico Walker On3 Scouting Summary
The following is the On3 Scouting Summary for Rico Walker:
“Large tweener prospect who lines up off the edge and at off-ball backer on defense and sprinkles in some play at wide receiver as well. Stands in at over 6-foot-3, 235 pounds with a 6-foot-7 wingspan. Has the length and movement skills to excel along the defensive line. Comfortable space player who can make plays from the hash to the sideline. Heavier set right now on an athletic frame. Could reshape and sculpt the body to become more agile and increase change of direction.
“Explosive athlete who jumped a 27.5-inch vertical and a 9-foot-6 broad jump during the spring camp circuit prior to his senior season. Striker at the point of contact. Possesses real stopping power. Productive player who lives in the backfield. Totaled 56 tackles, 7 tackles for loss and 7 sacks during his junior season. Ideal fit would be as an edge rusher at the next level. Should mold body into an NFL-looking prospect and athlete through collegiate strength and conditioning program.”