WINTERR GARDEN, Fla. –Jim Harbaugh made a big splash in Michigan’s 2016 recruiting class, when five-star running back Kareem Walker announced his commitment to the Wolverines earlier this month.
On Tuesday, Walker discussed his reasons behind his commitment after his first practice in preparation for the Under Armour All-American Game this Saturday.
“Because it’s a good place,” Walker said of U-M. “I’ve been to the Northwestern-Michigan game, the atmosphere was awesome. And that wasn’t even a real high anticipated game. But I just love the fan base there and of course the degree. The degree is real high, after football gradating from Michigan, I’ll be well off. So that is definitely something that went into my decision.”
Another factor was his budding relationship with his position coach, Tyrone Wheatley, who showed Walker his highlight tape from his playing days as a Wolverine from the early 90s.
“I asked to see his highlight tape,” said Walker.
“I really was impressed with his highlights,” Walker said of Wheatley. “You get a lot of coaches be like ‘back in my day, I was this.” It was actually kind of cool, cause a lot of coaches don’t show you their highlight tape. For him to show me his highlight tape and be actually good. It was kind of cool.”
Adding: “He didn’t show me any NFL highlights, It was the college highlights, I wanted to see Michigan.”
January 4th is Walker’s expected first day on U-M’s campus. That’s when he says he will start his plan of gaining some much-needed weight with a proper nutrition plan.
“I put on weight real fast,” said Walker, who weighs a self-reported 209-pounds. “I don’t even eat as good as I’m supposed to three times a day with the meals and all that, and I’m still 209 (pounds). When breakfast is mandatory, and lunch is mandatory and dinner is mandatory, I think I’m going to get real big, real fast. I think it’s going to be maintaining my weight more than trying to gain my weight, honestly.
Walker says he would like to get up to 220-pounds at one point, but added there is no pressure by the coaches to be a certain weight.
“It’s more what I feel comfortable at,” said Walker.