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Kenneth Walker III, a running back for Kennedy High School, poses for a photograph, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 in Richmond, Calif. (D. Ross Cameron/Staff)

Kennedy High-Richmond's Kenneth Walker III had plenty of options for continuing his football career. None of them could beat what Cal had to offer.

The speedy 6-foot, 175-pound wide receiver gave his oral commitment Friday morning to Bears coach Jeff Tedford, choosing Cal over Boise State, Washington and UCLA among others.

"It's close to home and I like the business management program," Walker said. "That what I want to major in."

Walker had more than a dozen scholarship offers, including six from the Pac-12. Arizona State, Colorado and Washington State were among those that offered Walker, as well as San Jose State, Colorado State, New Mexico and UTEP, according to ESPN.

"It was a hard decision, but I feel like I made the right one," Walker said.

He hopes his success can serve as a motivator to some of his Kennedy teammates.

"I'm kind of a mentor to some teammates," Walker said. "I'm helping a few kids out, staying on task and doing big things."

Walker was a first-team All-Bay Shore Athletic League utility player last season for Kennedy. He spent his freshman and sophomore years at Freedom and was a second-team All-Bay Valley Athletic League utility pick in 2009.

Walker has also starred on the track. He's reached the California Interscholastic Federation state track and field championships three straight years in the 110-meter hurdles, placing sixth the past two years. He finished one spot ahead of De La Salle's Michael Barton, also a Cal football commit and a former Pop Warner teammate, this past June. He said he would consider running track at Cal if the football coaching staff approved.


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Walker has thought about attempting to graduate early to enroll at Cal in the spring, but said he wants another shot at the state track championships.

"I need to get in the top three," he said.

Over the summer, Walker participated in Nike's The Opening camp at the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., and the B2G Elite Camp at UCLA. He is expected to play a big role this season for Kennedy's football team, which hopes to contend in the BSAL.

"We're going to get the ball in his hands as much as teams let us," said Eagles coach Mack Carminer, who expects Walker to line up at wide receiver, running back, defensive back and kick returner.