Name: Kareem Walker
Weight: 210 lbs.
High school: Wayne (NJ) DePaul Catholic
Position: Running back
Jersey number: #6
Last year: Walker was a senior in high school (LINK). He rushed for 1,517 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Final TTB Rating: 86
Walker was high on Michigan early, and then he somewhat surprisingly committed to the Ohio State Buckeyes on the day they won the national championship in 2015. Michigan continued to recruit him, and things went sour between Walker and OSU, which caused him to decommit in the fall. With a plan to enroll early at the school of his choice, he didn’t have a lot of time to drag out his decision, so he chose in mid-December to become a Wolverine. In the meantime, Walker’s promising sophomore and junior seasons preceded a slightly disappointing performance as a senior, when some started to question his lofty ranking. What seemed like elite quickness and burst as an underclassman turned into, less majestically, just good qualities.
This spring Walker was running fourth at tailback, behind De’Veon Smith, Ty Isaac, and Drake Johnson. Karan Higdon was sidelined by an injury for part of the spring, so he may be a factor ahead of Walker, too. I don’t expect Walker to surpass any of the first three guys unless one of them has a Ty Isaac-like inability to hold onto the football, but I do think he will play. You don’t steal a running back from Ohio State with the intent of burying him on the bench. I’m not in love with Walker, and he didn’t wow anyone this spring, but I do think he can be a productive back down the road. With Smith and Johnson graduating after the 2016 season, this year will be a bit of an audition to see who becomes the lead back in 2017.
Prediction: Backup tailback
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