As student-athletes across the country make decisions this summer on where to continue their careers on the field and in the classroom, New Hanover High School rising senior Garrett Walston is taking his time–with one year to go and plenty of interest from Division I programs–is making what he believes will be the best choice concerning his future.
According to Scout 300, a multi-media network which produces content on a variety of sports, including high school football recruiting, Walston is listed as one of the top 300 football players in the Class of 2016.
“It’s an absolutely blessing to have this decision in front of me,” said Walston. “It’s a lot of kids’ dreams to have this opportunity and really never thought it would happen to me. As I got deeper into the recruiting process, it’s been a bit crazy at times, buts it’s a good problem to have.”
In the recently updated list released by Scout 300, Walston was ranked as the top tight end in North Carolina, the seventh ranked player at his position in the south and 16th ranked tight end out of the 58 listed.
With offers from N.C. State, North Carolina and Georgia, along with interest from more than a handful of other schools, including Maryland, California, East Carolina and Boston College, Walston decided in late May to push back his looming decision after previously announcing his intentions to make a commitment.
“I just felt like I needed to get back to the three schools a few more times and really see if any of them will separate from one another,” Walston added. “I felt like earlier this year I was just trying to get it out of the way. I’m glad I pushed it back and should have never told anyone I was ready to make a commitment with school wrapping up and a ton of other things that will factor into this decision.”
Described by scouts as “a very natural pass-catcher with soft hands and knows what to do with the ball when he gets it,” the 6-4, 225 pound senior was thought to be leaning toward the Wolfpack of N.C. State prior to postponing his announcement.
“The last place I went to was Athens (Georgia) and Carolina, and while I haven’t been to N.C. State in a while, I’ll be going there on Friday,” said Walston. “I’ll spend the night there, wake up, go to Chapel Hill to attend an event for Coach (Larry) Fedora. Do the overnight there. Than on the 27th of this month I’m going back to Athens.
“If I don’t know by the end of this month I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I should have a decision by the end of June or sometime in July.”
Walston caught 44 passes for 847 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. The senior playmaker has already started working with new starting quarterback Burke Estes, but the two classmates are already familiar with each other’s ability after hooking up for a touchdown in 2014.
“We are definitely working hard for more of those this year,” said Walston. “We’re not losing much this season from a team standpoint. Ward Coleman was a great quarterback. He holds the school record for passing yards and was a great player. Burke is right there with him. He’s my best friend. We’ve known each other since we were born. Our families have been friends before that.
“I just can’t wait to get out on the field and work with him for our last year on the field together.”