Michigan was one of the first schools to offer Kareem Walker early last winter. Since then his scholarship ledger has ballooned to nearly two dozen. With that boon has come frequent contact with just as many coaches. Despite that, some of his earliest connections still rank among his strongest. That is certainly true of his bond with Michigan assistant Roy Manning
“Coach Manning, is real cool,” said Walker. “He always tells my coach to tell me to call him. I love when I talk to Coach Manning. We can talk for hours. It doesn’t even have to be about football. I definitely like Coach Manning. I think he has come back two times since they offered me. Actually, something terrible happened to my family and Coach Manning was trying to come to the school to see me, but when he heard…he came two days in a row.”
Gestures like that clearly resonate with the talented youngster. So too do the words of a good friend that has been through the recruiting process already… a good friend that happens to be on his way to Michigan.
“I talk to Jabrill Peppers,” stated Walker. “I’m waiting for Jabrill to get on campus. When that comes up, I’m going to visit there.”
Peppers isn’t at all bashful when it comes to courting other prospects to Michigan, but he makes it a point to not be overbearing.
“We just be chilling,” said Walker. “We don’t just talk about football. It is only like every once in a while. Not too many times has he brought it up unless we talking about high school.”
Needless to say the presences of Peppers and Manning in Ann Arbor have given Walker a very positive view of the Maize & Blue. Visits to Penn State, Rutgers, and Auburn have left extremely favorable impressions also. Even so, he isn’t ready to anoint any of those schools his leader. He is committed to approaching his recruitment with an open and patient mind.
“I’m trying to have it all, said Walker. “I’m trying to wait until signing day (to make a decision) because I’ve got another big recruit, Rashan Gary, coming to my school. We’re both going to be big time recruits. We’re the top two recruits in my class, but there are definitely going to be other guys who are going to have a lot of big time offers. I think my whole class is loaded. We’re all just going to wait it out.”
“I think in June I’m supposed to take a visit to Florida State and then going to Alabama. This is what I’m told, but I’m not for sure yet. That’s probably going to be my next two visits, as soon as I talk to my coach. As a matter of fact, I’m talking to you about that now, as soon as I get off the phone I’m going to text him about that. I think those are the two schools I’m visiting next this summer, but I’m definitely going to try and get up to a few more this summer.”
With two years still left in his high school career, there will be many more visits to follow. Along the way he will be looking for one special trait in every school he considers.
“As a kid growing up I could always tell who was real as far as really caring about me,” Walker explained. “Sometimes in recruiting you might have a college when they first offer you, they call and they call, then as the months go by, you aren’t really hearing from some schools. But you have coaches constantly telling (my coach), ‘tell Kareem to call me. I want to talk to him.‘ Coaches that are like that, I see it early. I see it right now. I’m not going to (say which schools). But I see schools that are like that now.”