DeMarcus Walker chooses Alabama

ESPN 150 defensive end DeMarcus Walker (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood) committed to the University of Alabama on Friday. Walker, ranked No. 24 nationally, becomes the highest ranked player in the Crimson Tide's 2013 recruiting class.

"They are just putting guys in the NFL, and that's my dream," he said. "With the way they develop players, I feel like the work that I put in there will pay off."

The 6-foot-4, 276-pound Walker is the No. 3-ranked defensive end, but he plans to play linebacker when he gets to Alabama. He will play some standing up and some with his hand down, but his main goal will be to rush the passer.

"I'm a great rusher," Walker said. "I can protect the run very good. I'm aggressive and quick also. (Alabama) compared me to Courtney Upshaw, but I'm my own person. I don't compare myself to anybody. I'm going to mix and match a little bit of everything."

Many believed Walker's decision came down to Alabama and Florida, but in the end, it was Auburn, the Tide's in-state rival, that finished a close second.

"I guess it came down to the fact I visited Alabama more than I visited Auburn," Walker said.

Although he's relieved to have his commitment behind him heading into his senior season, the Florida native knows the other schools in the mix will continue to recruit him all the way up until signing day.

"I talked to teams who say we're still going to recruit you no matter what, if you pick our school or not, and I appreciated that," Walker said. "Auburn was one school that said they're going to continue coming after me."

The four-star defender still plans to take all five of his official visits to Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Tennessee and USC.