McNary’s Junior Walling was a first-team all-Mountain Valley Conference selection as a linebacker and running back in 2018. Walling will be playing college football for the Oregon State Beavers in 2020 (File).
McNary linebacker Junior Walling, who will be a senior this fall, has received nearly a dozen offers from Division I schools over the last 14 months. And on Thursday, June 13, Walling made the decision on where he wants to continue his career as a student-athlete.
In a two-minute video posted on his Twitter account, Walling reveled that he has committed to Oregon State University to play college football.
Walling has been an Oregon State fan for his entire life — in large-part due to the fact that his father, Jason, was a tight end and defensive end for the Beavers from 1990-92. So being able to play in Corvallis is a dream come true for him.
“It feels amazing to know that I will be a Beaver. I grew up dreaming that one day I would be able to play at Reser Stadium,” Walling said.
Walling is the number two in-state recruit and the 14th-ranked inside linebacker in the country according to 247Sports.com
He had offers Army, Air Force, Princeton, Yale, Georgetown, Brown, Cornell, Columbia, Eastern Washington and Utah in addition to his offer from Oregon State.
But after all the offers and college visits, Walling was 100 percent sure of where he wanted to go.
“I felt like this was the best time to make my decision because I was confident that there wasn’t anything that was going to change my thinking. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunities I did in this process, but when it came down to it I just knew where I belonged and wanted to make the decision prior to my senior season,” Walling said.
In his approach to the recruiting process, Walling broke down his decision into three categories. He wanted to have a solid connection with the coaching staff, he wanted to attend a place that met his academic needs — Walling is a 4.0 student — and he wanted to be at a place that was a good fit socially.
“I wanted to make sure I felt like I connected with the coaches and had the ability to be successful in the program. I also wanted to make sure that the school had an engineering program, as that is what I will be focusing my education around. Then, of course, it was important to me to be comfortable with where I would be living for the next four to five years of my life,” Walling said. “After my family and I visited more than 15 campuses, it was very clear to me that OSU was where I belonged.”
Walling will be joining a program and a defense that has seen its share of struggles in recent years. In 2018, the Oregon State defense allowed more than 536 yards and 45 points per game — both were the worst marks in the Pac-12 Conference. The Beavers also have a 9-39 record over the past four seasons, including a 2-10 record last year in their first season under head coach Jonathan Smith.
However, Walling is excited to be a part of the rebuild process once he gets to Corvallis.
“I am extremely excited to be part of what Coach Smith and the coaching staff are doing at OSU and I am confident that we will rebuild this program,” Walling said.
While he is looking forward to join the Beavers in 2020, Walling still has big expectations for his final season at McNary.
“I am really excited about my last year as a Celtic and am looking forward to defending our league title and making a run in the state playoffs,” Walling said.