Oklahoma defensive lineman Charles Walker has parted ways with the program, to the disappointment of his coach but undoubtedly to the elation of his family. For the best young players, college football is and should be the means to an end: getting paid.
Walker, a redshirt junior, is projected to go somewhere on Day 2 of the NFL draft, thanks in large part to a breakout season last year that saw him rack up six sacks and 10 tackles for loss, particularly impressive because they came from the DT position. But he hasn’t played this season since suffering a concussion on Oct. 1. The Oklahoman reports that it was at least his third concussion of his college career.
Walker’s status has been unclear this season, and last month he addressed rumors that his season might be done. But on Monday night he sent this cryptic tweet, perhaps hinting that the best thing for him is to shut it down and focus on his professional career.
OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops commented on Walker’s decision yesterday:
“Quitting on your teammates is hard to take, as a coach,” Mike Stoops said. “That’s everything we stand for — our commitment to one another and, for whatever reason, that wasn’t there for him. He thought this was a better avenue so you would have to ask him for those [answers].”
Eh, fuck that. Walker has spent four years working without any pay beyond room and board, and that first life-changing paycheck is within his sights, and with just two games plus a bowl left, and the possibility that his concussion symptoms might have him at less than 100 percent, there’s nothing to be gained by staying with the Sooners. College programs discard their players when they’re no longer of use, so why shouldn’t it go the other way too?