FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Kareem Walker signed with Michigan as an early enrollee with high expectations to see the field early on his career.
But then, well, he enrolled – and the challenges of college life changed his course of action as a freshman running back.
Instead of starring for the Wolverines this season, Walker redshirted due to academic issues stated by Jim Harbaugh earlier this fall.
And with Michigan preparing for Florida State in the Capital One Orange Bowl, it gives the coaching staff 15 more practices to evaluate their younger talent.
And in Walker’s case, it was just a matter of him following his “process” to see the field, says offensive coordinator Tim Drevno.
“I always knew Kareem had it in there,” Drevno said of Walker. “It’s just a process. Everybody has different processes when they come to college, things move faster, you know. It just takes time to settle in and he’s the guy we think he is. He’s going to produce at high level here at Michigan. He’s got a chance to do that.”
Listed at 6-foot-1, 207-pounds, Drevno added that Walker has used the extra time to develop his body as well.
“He’s gotten bigger, our strength program has done well with him,” Drevno said. “So it’s exciting to see his future.”
Where has Walker improved the most? Well, Drevno raved about his more polished running back traits.
“Kareem is really hitting the hole well using his vision,” Drevno said. “He’s getting north and south. He’s making some nice cuts out there. He’s really getting a good feel. It’s exciting to see Kareem do that.”
No. 6 Michigan (10-2) plays against No. 11 Florida State (9-3) this Friday at 8:30 p.m.