Michigan early enrollee RB Kareem Walker plans to play early and often his freshman season at U-M.

Michigan early enrollee RB Kareem Walker plans to play early and often his freshman season at U-M.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. –Kareem Walker may just be a freshman, but that hasn’t stopped him from making his intentions known one month into his college career.

Walker, who enrolled at U-M on Jan. 6, says his goal is to see the field early and often in year one of his Michigan career.

“I’m playing,” said Walker, who was rated a five-star RB out of Wayne (N.J.) De Paul Catholic. “I’m working hard. I’m doing good adjusting to the workouts. Just got to learn the playbook. But I’m not riding no bench (he laughed).

“I come here to be great, I (didn’t) come here to be sitting on no bench.”

Why does Walker think he will play right away? Well, because of his own self-confidence and help from veteran upperclassman on the team, he says. 

“I’m a very confident player,” Walker said. “The running backs that are already on the team, they expect me to do big things. When I’m at workouts and I’m tired and things aren’t going the way I want them to, those are the next guys that come next to me when we got to run sprints. Those are the guys who are pushing me.

“So there is not hatin’ in the running back room. Those guys want me to succeed and carry on the legacy. Cause those guys be leaving after next season. So those guys want me to come in and get the feeling of it. And know what it’s like to be in the big game. So those guys are expecting big things from me.”

However, if Walker is going to have any success on the field this season, he admits he still work to do individually this off-season.

“Me personally, I need to work on getting my feet higher,” Walker said. “A lot of big touchdown runs I could’ve had last year (were) stopped from legs getting tackled or I’m seconds away from breaking a tackle and I get leg tripped.”

Adding: “So I just want to work on my leg strength and being able to pick up linebackers in the Big Ten, and then just adjusting to the speed.”

Other than that, his college experience has been an easy adjustment so far. 

“I’ve adjusted real well,” Walker said. “The coaches and staff at Michigan do a real good job helping us. It hasn’t really been hard. It’s just been adjusting to the workouts, really.”

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