Where's Chris?
Chris Walker

Posted Oct 6, 2010


If you were watching the Tennessee-LSU game live, you probably rubbed your eyes in disbelief. If you were watching on tape, you probably hit the rewind button to get another look.

Either way, your eyes were not deceiving you: Yes, that was Vol defensive end Chris Walker occasionally lined up across from a Tiger wide receiver, playing essentially a cornerback position.

"Yeah, I was out there doing some coverage things," he said this week. "People were looking out there saying, 'Is C-Walk playing corner out there?' But it's a fun little change-up for me.

That is just one of the ways Tennessee defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox has used Walker this fall. The 6-3, 250-pound senior from Memphis also has played some linebacker, the position he played at Christian Brothers High School and the position he projects to play in the pros.

Clearly, his role in Tennessee's defensive scheme has been expanded this year.

"Yeah, it has," he acknowledged. "It's a different look for me - being able to cover people and do some blitzing here and there, do some standing up here and there. It's a lot of different looks for me that kind of makes me multiple in what I do."

The versatility to play multiple positions increases Walker's chances of sticking with an NFL club. It also increases his enjoyment of the game.

"I like it a lot," he said. "Whatever I do that helps to make us a better team, I'm willing to do that. (If it's) covering a tight end, covering a running back on a wheel route, that's what I'll do."

Walker is quite capable of covering a tight end or a fullback. Trying to run step for step with a speedy wide receiver or tailback is another matter.

"I think I've done well considering the backs that we've played," Walker said. "It's always fun when you see (Oregon tailback/sprint star) LaMichael James coming on a wheel route and you think, 'Oh, gosh. I've got to run with him,' but it's been a fun test for me."

The key question: Will it still be fun when he tries to cover Georgia's A.J. Green, Alabama's Julio Jones and South Carolina's Alshon Jeffery the next three games?


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