Buckeye Scouting Report: 2016 RB Kareem Walker

In the middle of the Buckeyes 42-20 romp of Oregon in the National Championship Monday night, Ohio State received a key commitment from the top running back in the 2016 class Kareem Walker. Walker is a 6-1, 210 pound running back out of Wayne, New Jersey who plays his high school ball for De Paul Catholic. Walker is being recruited heavily by every major program in the country; Alabama, Florida State, Notre Dame, and Michigan seem to be early favorites for Walker if he does flip. The Buckeyes will have to do their due diligence up until the 2016 National Signing Day to keep the services of Walker, until then we will scout and evaluate Walker as a future Buckeye.

Walker’s Strengths

Feet- These are what will make Walker so coveted. He has very quick feet, short strider that cuts quickly. He cuts laterally and vertically effortlessly. Quick feet in between the tackles that help him get to second level quicker. Has great ability to make tacklers miss in tight gaps. Keeps feet moving on initial contact to help him fall forward and gain extra yardage.

Vision- Walker’s second best strength is his vision. Has great patience to allow blocks to form and find the hole. If middle is clogged up he show’s ability to see outside lane and quickly work towards perimeter. Shows understanding of how a play is designed, how it is blocked, and exploits proper holes. Consistently keeps head up while running inside to exploit poor tackling angles taken by linebackers or safety.

Athleticism- Walker is a play maker above all else. Get him in to space and he abuses tacklers especially on the second level. His body control and balance are what allow him to be so shifty in space. As stated before he cuts in space effortlessly. Not a burner, but very efficient with his movement. Could transition to H-back with more practice catching the ball.


Size- Like most high school running backs Walker hasn’t fully filled out his frame. His height at 6’1 is ideal and he has a good start with his weight at 210 pounds, but Walker will need to add a lot of bulk, especially in his legs to be the inside runner Ohio State cherishes with their feature backs. The added weight will also benefit his running style which tends to be upright leaning forward rather than a back who runs with lower pads and is less shifty. Once he gets on campus at Ohio State I would think he adds another 10-15 pounds to really fill out and allow him to take the beating a starting running back takes in college.

Speed- For a top running back speed is actually where I think Walker could fall behind other prospects. He is very talented in space, but that is more to do with his feet and vision than his speed. Walker does not waste movements and has enough speed to blow away high school talent, but when moving up to the college level his good speed could turn to above average in a faster paced game.

Have a look for yourself and let me know in the comments below!

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