By LARRY VAUGHT
He came to Kentucky with a huge chip on his shoulder. He was a three-sports standout at Louisville St. Xavier but the only way he got on the UK football team was to accept a walk-on offer from then offensive coordinator Neal Brown.
“I thought I deserved to have (scholarship) offers, but not getting them kept me working really hard,” said senior receiver Charles Walker. “I got to play special teams. Then I got in the game at receiver. I realized I was pretty good at football.”
He was good enough to play in 49 games in four years — more than most scholarship players do. He had 15 catches for 180 yards in 2017 and finished his career with 25 catches for 279 yards. But he also had a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown in 2016 — UK’s first punt return for a score since Randall Cobb in 2010.
The 5-11, 205-pound Walker kept that chip on the shoulder working for him when he participated in UK’s Pro Day — something that probably seemed an unlikely possibility to most when Walker got to Kentucky.
“I had my sights set for Pro Day. No question about that. I think I am good enough to play at the next level,” Walker said.
He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds at Pro Day. He had a 36-inch vertical jump and above average bench press results for a receiver. His shuttle times were also impressive.
Several NFL teams thought he did well — very well — during his workouts. The Patriots, Jets, Titans, Lions and Colts all talked to him after his workout.
“The Patriots and Titans talked about my special teams play, what positions I played at times during the season and if I returned punts in games,” Walker, who signed with an agent last week,
said. “I think they were just trying to see what knowledge I had of the overall game.
“The other teams exchanged information with me and told me they liked what I did and that they would be in contact. So overall, Pro Day went pretty darn well.”