KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Recruited out of Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham last year, Corey Walker was the No. 5 overall prospect in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the No. 12 power forward in the 2020 class.
On Nov. 13, 2019, the 6-foot-8, 219-pound prospect signed with the University of Tennessee. However, as the No. 10-ranked Volunteers progress to 4-0 on the season, Walker is still sidelined.
The four-star recruit from Hastings, Florida, is rehabilitating a November toe injury.
Citing one of several adapted NCAA rules rewritten in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020-2021 season does not count as a year of eligibility for fall and winter sports.
Rick Barnes, the Vols' head coach and 2018 SEC regular season champion, suggested Walker might have been a redshirt candidate if his freshman year had fallen on a conventional season.
“Both of those guys we would have probably put into that category, but we have never decided on who we are going to redshirt until the season gets going," Barnes told 247 Sports, referring to Walker and sophomore Drew Pember, following a 65-56 win at home versus Cincinnati Dec. 12
"With this year, I don’t know if we will decide any of that because who knows what happens with COVID," Barnes said. "We have to show up and play with seven guys, so we have to have everybody ready. Like you said it’s a free year, but I believe both of those guys are totally cleared with the protocol.”
Walker took his talents to the SEC following offers from a throng of other D-I schools, including Baylor, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Georgetown, Louisville, Michigan, USC and Xavier.
Tennessee will tip off at 6 p.m. tonight against the 0-4 Saint Joseph's Hawks.