Michigan’s homecoming win over Northwestern initially looked like one of the tamer recruiting weekends of the fall, but that changed quickly with a few key visitors. None was bigger than Wayne (N.J.) DePaul Catholic five-star running back Kareem Walker.
Not only was Walker the second-highest-ranked prospect to officially visit campus this fall (eclipsed only by his friend and fellow New Jersey native Rashan Gary), the No. 20 overall prospect and top running back in the nation is verbally committed to bitter rival Ohio State.
The 6-foot, 208-pound Walker picked the Buckeyes during halftime of their national title win over Oregon in January, and his trip to Ann Arbor was the first public indication that he might not be fully solid to OSU.
Verbal commitments are nonbinding until national letters of intent are signed in February.
The Wolverines’ 38-0 thrashing of No. 13 Northwestern likely helped their cause to shake up Walker’s pledge.
“That was definitely an impressive win,” he said. “It was, basically, the I-formation and pro-style. That’s really what I run in high school. That’s the main set, with the two backs, two wide receivers and one tight end. I really know the plays that they were calling, and they were doing a good job of mixing it up, letting the running back run, letting the fullback run and doing play action. I really knew the offense because of what I do now.”
Walker’s relationship with U-M sophomore defensive back Jabrill Peppers and director of player personnel Chris Partridge (both of whom came from nearby Paramus (N.J.) Catholic) also is a potential boost.
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Future Buckeye Kareem Walker loving his Under Armour jersey presentation