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Donovan nabs prized recruit Walker for top-ranked ‘13 class

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Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 12:51 am | Updated: 12:58 am, Tue Jul 24, 2012.

Top-10 forward Chris Walker (Bonifay, Fla.) announced Sunday morning his commitment to coach Billy Donovan and Florida.

Walker joins AAU teammate and point guard Kasey Hill as the lone UF 2013 commitments.

With Walker in the fold, the Gators now boast the top 2013 recruiting class according to ESPN.com.

The 6-foot-9 forward revealed his future destination via a Home Team Hoops mixtape video online, which featured his dunk-heavy highlight reel and a bold prediction.

“I will be teaming up with my teammate off the AAU squad Kasey Hill and together we will be the best duo in college, and we will win a national championship. You heard it here first,” he said.

Walker and Hill, the No. 6 and No. 7 overall prospects on Rivals.com, respectively, are the highest-ranked Florida commitments for Donovan since Brad Beal at No. 4 in 2011.

When the duo arrives in 2013, the Gators roster will be without All-Southeastern Conference shooting guard Kenny Boynton and forward Erik Murphy due to graduation.

That will leave forwards Cody Larson, Will Yeguete and Patric Young as the only big men on the roster with any minutes at Florida barring transfers or early departures.

Young, a projected NBA first-round pick, could leave after his junior season.

Center Damontre Harris, from South Carolina, and forward Dorian Finney-Smith, from Virginia Tech, transferred to Florida earlier this summer and become eligible in 2013.

Harris, an All-SEC defensive team member, tied for second in the SEC with 2.3 blocks per game in 2011-12.

The 6-foot-10, 228-pound center averaged 10.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and three blocks in two games vs. Florida last season.

Finney-Smith left Virginia Tech after the school fired coach Seth Greenberg. He started 30 of 33 games and earned a spot on the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Freshmen team. The honored squad included NBA first-round selection Austin Rivers, Duke’s point guard last season.

The potential pairing of Harris, Finney-Smith and Walker gives the Gators a lengthy frontcourt, which Florida could use after missing out on several forwards in 2012.

Donovan and his staff courted prospects Anthony Bennett, Mitch McGary, Nerlens Noel and Alex Poythress, but all chose different schools.

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