RB Kareem Walker
You might think after De’Veon Smith’s glowing performance in the Citrus Bowl (25 carries, 109 yards), he’d have the top running back position sewn up for good.
Smith increased his carries and yards gained in each of his three seasons at Michigan, beating out some real “thoroughbreds” in the process.
He’s overtaken 5-star Derrick Green, Southern Cal transfer Ty Isaac and for the most part oft-injured Drake Johnson. A former Pioneer High track and football star, Johnson has suffered and recovered from two knee surgeries. During his career, he’s rushed for 641 yards for a lofty 5.5 yards-per-carry average.
If Harbaugh is looking for consistency this spring, there might be a chance for a freshman to unseat either Smith or Johnson.
Smith was just ordinary in the three 2015 losses (Utah, Michigan State, Ohio State) managing only 116 yards on 46 carries, an average of 2.55. Johnson’s production dropped off from 2014 and, of course, the reason could be the two operations. He’s joined the U-M track team this winter, so maybe he intends on building up his strength by running hurdles.
Isaac, who might have the most natural talent of the bunch will certainly be in the mix.
Still, the odds are practically nil that a gifted athlete like Kareem Walker could step into the starting lineup.
Walker decommited from Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes before signing on with Michigan.
“(Playing right away) is definitely what they were pitching to me,” Kareem Walker told scout.com. “I’d need to come in and work my tail off and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be starting, or I that shouldn’t be in the rotation as one of the backs teams are game-planning against.” I definitely should playing.”
Walker has already struck up a relationship with former Michigan star running back and current running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley. Walker also knows safety Jabrill Peppers from back home in New Jersey.
Odds against starting: 40 to 1
Next: QB Brandon Peters