Jesse Walker is going to be a Bison.
The 18-year-old Mission Secondary football sensation has committed to joining the University of Manitoba football team next season.
The star quarterback made his decision official last Thursday.
“All through Grade 11, I started getting offers from tons of CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) schools and then I went to camps during the summer,” said Walker about the decision process.
He talked to dozens of schools, both in Canada and the U.S. before making his choice.
“I just decided, I’m going to stay here (in Canada), this is my home.”
Walker said choosing the Manitoba Bisons was easy.
“It just felt like family. I feel comfortable going there.”
While Walker played quarterback for Mission, the plan is for him to take on a receiver role for the Bisons.
“I’m 100 per cent ready to go and I’m ready to start working hard.”
Walker will also be studying criminology at the university.
According to the university’s website, Bisons’ head coach Brian Dobie said Walker “is an impact and dynamic player that will be a game changer.”
He also said Walker “has been one of the most highly sought out recruits across the country over the last couple seasons.”
Sports has alway come easy for Walker, who didn’t start playing football until five years ago.
His father didn’t want him to play football, because of the contact. Walker already played basketball and track and was moving up in the soccer ranks.
But football was the sport he wanted to play.
“I remember the first game I stepped on the field in Grade 8. I scored like five touchdowns and ever since then I thought this is my game. This is what I’m going to play.”
At the time he played running back, but in Grade 10, the team needed a quarterback so Walker stepped in.
They won a championship ring that year.
Walker wasn’t a bad thrower, but it was his legs that really set him apart from other players.
“My speed is my biggest part of my game, I just run.”
Mission Roadrunners football coach Danny Jakobs called Walker the “most athletic athlete” he’s ever coached in his 30 year career.
“He can play any position he wants. He’s just dynamic with the ball when he runs with it. Whether that be as a receiver or a running back or a returner.”
Kevin Watrin, who also coaches with the Roadrunners said Walker is a gifted person off the field.
“He’s been a real positive leader in the locker room with the players. He motivates other kids to do their best… He’s a great kid to be around.”
Walker now has to get ready to head out to Manitoba, although he isn’t sure when that will be. He will either attend spring camp, or leave in August.