Nov. 24, 2008
The hard-luck 2008 football season at Eastern Washington University for Marcus Walker had a happy ending for the senior from Pullman, Wash. (Pullman HS ’04).
Walker was selected as the Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday (Nov. 24) for his performance in EWU's 33-26 season-ending victory over eighth-ranked and regular season league champion Weber State.
One of 18 seniors on this year’s Eagle team, the 5-foot-11, 210-pound linebacker had two interceptions, eight total tackles and a half-sack. He was starting his fourth game of the season, but would have started more if not for a shoulder injury that kept him out of one game and parts of two others.
The Eagles intercepted Weber State quarterback Cameron Higgins four times after he had entered the game with just eight for the season. Walker helped EWU jump out to a 33-7 lead as the Wildcats had two first-half drives stopped by interceptions when WSU had the ball inside the EWU 20-yard line both possessions. The first ended on an interception by Walker on a tipped pass by freshman Zach Johnson.
In the third quarter, after Walker’s second interception of the game at the Eastern 4-yard line, the Eagles marched 96 yards on nine plays to give the Eagles a 33-7 lead with 6:54 left in the quarter.
A backup at middle linebacker when the 2008 season started, Walker suffered a shoulder injury against Idaho State on Sept. 27 and did not play against Portland State and Montana State, and played just one series versus Montana on Oct. 11. As luck would have it, starter Makai Borden suffered an ankle injury before the PSU game and missed three games -- games Walker would have started and played had he been healthy himself.
Walker finished the season with 34 tackles and a fumble recovery in nine games. In his 44-game career (nine as a starter), he had 115 tackles with three interceptions, one pass broken up, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. Until the Weber State game, his lone career interception came during his freshman season in 2005 when he returned a pick 72 yards for a touchdown versus Idaho State.
His father is former Washington State University assistant coach Mike Walker. The elder Walker, whose children Marcus, Taylor (daughter) and Payton (daughter) were named after NFL standouts Marcus Allen, Lawrence Taylor and Walter Payton, respectively, spent the 2008 season on the coaching staff for the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League.