In JD Salinger's classic 1951 novel, protagonist Holden Caulfield finds himself caught in that precarious stage of life between adolescence and adulthood.
Over 60 years later Florida State defensive end DeMarcus Walker finds himself caught in a real-life Catcher in the Rye situation. But unlike with Salinger's fictional narrative, Walker's reality has him caught between stages of life in an actual sense and his plight is no where near as well-written.
After committing to Alabama as a senior in high school, Walker made waves just hours after the BCS title game when he chose to follow former Crimson Tide DB's coach Jeremy Pruitt to Florida State where his intention was to enroll early.
So Walker sacrificed the last semester of his senior year and left Jacksonville for Tallahassee where he planned to enroll in classes and participate in Spring football.
Then things hit a hitch.
There's currently a question about one of Walker's courses at Sandlewood High School, the NCAA Clearinghouse is yet to give the OK for Walker to begin official team activities with the Seminoles. As of right now the most he can do is sequester himself on the practice field for some unsupervised drills. Beyond that, he's "extremely limited," as per NCAA regulations.
As one of the top recruits in the country, the 4-star defensive end had hoped to try and win some playing time as a true freshman. That will have to wait.
FSU has already completed all of their Spring practices, all that's left is the Garnet and Gold game. Aside from physically being on campus, the NCAA has more or less wasted Walker's early enrollment.
"It is frustrating because those classes have been used at other schools and been OK," said Fisher a couple weeks ago. "Now all of a sudden, they aren't. I don't know why. It was just one class anyway. For one semester."
If the NCAA doesn't clear Walker soon, then Florida State does have some recourse- just not in time to get Walker on the field this Spring.
"There would be a whole process," Fisher said. "It can become appeal, appeal, appeal. There's all kind of things, so it'll have to wait."
In the meantime the 6-4 275-pound defensive end is stuck. He's not a high schooler anymore but he's not quite in college yet either. Not until the NCAA.
Until further notice DeMarcus Walker is caught in the Rye.
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