Tony Stevens is ranked as the No. 25 wide receiver in the country by Rivals.com. Orlando Evans teammate and fellow receiver Dominic Walker is ranked No. 52.
Over at ESPN.com, Tony Stevens is No. 22, while Walker is 35th. And more of the same at 247sports.com, Tony Stevens is rated No. 23, while Walker is way down at No. 127.
Tony Stevens was invited to Nike's The Opening. Dominic Walker was not.
Last season, the breakout year for both players during the Trojans resurrection year under new coach Chip Gierke, Evans went 10-2. Tony Stevens had 37 catches for 781 yards and 10 touchdowns. Walker had 36 catches, 618 yards nad six touchdowns.
Tony Stevens, Tony Stevens, Tony Stevens. You'd think Walker might be getting tired of hearing his teammates name mentioned just ahead of his all the time.
So when it came time for invitations to be handed out for the Champion Gridiron Kings national 7-on-7 tournament, which is this weekend at
That's why he was surprised when his phone rang.
"It feels good just to get invited to anything like that," Walker said. "I wasn't expecting to be invited, since I didn't get invited to The Opening.
"But they called me at the beginning of last week and said, 'We just want to let you know that you are invited to the Gridiron Kings.' I was just like, 'Oh, really?" I wasn't happy about not going to The Opening. I really wanted to go to that, but I'm happy now that I'll be able to go up against some of the guys who were at that event."
He'll get a chance to stand out on his own today during the semifinals, which start at 10:15 a.m. at Wide World of Sports. Walker is the lone member of the Florida contingent to be placed on the California-dominated West team.
"I plan to make up for not getting invited to The Opening," Walker said. "I'm gonna do something. I ain't gonna be quiet."
Walker, of course, doesn't hold any ill will toward his teammate, but he is going to relish the opportunity to be on opposite sides.
"We still gotta share the spotlight, but it can make things between us more competitive and everything," Walker said. "Now we gotta go out there and find out about whose team is better and all that, so it should be a lot of fun."
Walker, who is committed to Vanderbilt, recently took a visit to
with new Dr. Phillips QB Alton Meeks, an Orlando Boone transfer who is committed to the Bearcats.
"It was fun … they tried to get me to commit while I was up there," Walker laughed. "I just really enjoyed it. I ain't gonna lie. When I went up to Cincinnati, they had me thinking, 'Did I commit too early.' "
"But I’m still 95 percent Vandy and I know Cincinnati is gonna be coming at me hard. They told me, 'I promise you will play your freshman year and made me a clip about what was the goal and what I would accomplish my freshman year. They were talking about the Biletnikoff Award [for the nation's top college receiver] and the
Vandy coaches didn't exactly like hearing he was visiting another school.
"I talked to the coaches and they were kind of mad a little bit," Walker said. "When you commit they don't want you going to all these other schools ... but I didn't know they were going to come at me like that at Cincinnati.
"I went up there and I still needed to fax my Gridiron Kings paperwork, so when I got up there I faxed it from the coaches off and I wasn't even expecting it. They just sat me down and everything and started talking to me. I was like, 'Dang.' It was fun up there though."
While Meeks and Walker were on campus, they had a familiar face helping show them the campus.
"We were with Ti'on [Green, of Lake Brantley] most of the time. He fits in good up there," Walker said.
Walker also said that while he is still quite solid with Vandy, he does intend to take his five allotted free recruiting trips.
"I'm gonna take all my official visits, just like I said I would when I committed to Vandy," he said.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at
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