Dacula’s Dexter Walker (6) talks with quarterback Rocky Capobianco (5) on the sidelines after a touchdown during their game against Brookwood earlier this season.
DACULA — Certain tasks, dreaded by many teenagers, are second nature for Dexter Walker.
The Dacula senior grew up with a military father — his dad, also named Dexter, retired from the Navy — so discipline has been stressed from birth. The expectations of how Walker is supposed to carry himself are high, both inside and outside of his house.
The Walker File
Who: Dexter Walker
Favorite TV show: “SportsCenter”
Favorite sports team: Miami Heat, any team with LeBron James on it
College major: Sports medicine, physical therapy
• Plays both running back and defensive back for the Falcons
• Made 57 tackles and ran for four TDs as a junior
• Has rushed for 298 yards and accounted for three TDs this season
• Also plays basketball and ran track previously
• Is secretary of senior class, on the Dacula Leadership Team and is a peer leader
• Had 3.42 GPA last year and is currently taking three Advanced Placement classes
“Yeah, it’s very strict,” Walker said. “Now I can’t wake up one day and not make my bed. It’s embedded in me. I do everything like that. Little stuff, like cleaning baseboards. I remember when I was 11 years old and we had to clean every baseboard in the house.
“My drawers are perfect. I have shirts folded like you find in the stores. (My dad) doesn’t fold his socks at the top. He knots them so they don’t stretch out at the top. I do that.”
Focusing on minutiae like that has defined Walker’s youthful years, instilling in him the desire to succeed at every endeavor, whether’s it is a sport, classwork or some extracurricular activity.
“He pushes me a lot,” Walker said of his father. “But he doesn’t make me do anything. He just says, ‘If you want to be good, it’s up to you. This is what you have to do.’ He doesn’t make me do it. He just makes me strive to want to do it.”
The pursuit of excellence includes quite a few endeavors.
Walker is senior class secretary, a peer leader and a member of the Dacula Leadership Team. He’s an officer in Fellowship of Christian Athletes and maintains a 3.42 GPA with three Advanced Placement classes. He received the Atlanta Falcons Captain in the Community Award earlier this season for his work in athletics, academics and community service.
The two-sport standout — he’s also one of Dacula’s best basketball players — has a lot of activities to juggle into his tight schedule, which he admits he doesn’t keep organized as well as he should.
“It’s a little hard (to balance everything),” Walker said. “I just do what I can when I can. I have a lot of studying to do every night. School always comes first. School work comes first. If I can’t make it to a meeting because of football practice or school work, I have to miss it.”
That comment shows that football, which takes up a large chunk of Walker’s schedule along with school, is a major focus. He knows well that the sport is his future, his path to a free college education.
Air Force has offered, but other high-level schools haven’t followed suit, though they have shown some interest.
“I think he has the skills to play either (offense or defense) in college,” Dacula head coach Kevin Maloof said. “He definitely can play in the SEC or ACC. I feel like he’s an SEC-, ACC-type player.”
The 5-foot-111⁄2, 190-pounder expects to be a safety at the next level, though he’s needed at that position and at running back for Dacula. A large load of his carries this season have come between the tackles and he’s still averaged 6.2 yards per carry.
He gets his rest on defense, but Maloof and his coaches make sure he’s in for important plays. In limited defensive action, he still has 11 tackles, an interception, a fumble recovery, a forced a fumble and a kick block.
Walker’s football skills should set him up somewhere at the college level, but the intangibles and high grades only make him more appealing to college scouts, Maloof said. He expects the senior to draw more attention from college recruiters in the coming months as more see highlight tapes from early this season.
“Dexter’s a guy who can make plays offensively and defensively,” Maloof said. “He’s an unselfish-type player, a great leader, a solid student. He’s a peer leader. He has a great personality. All of our younger kids look up to him. He’s just an all-around good kid.”