Kareem Walker vs Antonio Williams

Kareem Walker is a 6’1″ 210 lb running back from Wayne, New Jersey. He is a 5 star, #1 ranked running back in the nation for the class of 2016. You know him as one of the prized commits for Ohio State’s 2016 class.

On January 12, 2015, during halftime of our National Championship Game, Kareem surprised Buckeye Nation by committing to play for Urban Meyer and Ohio State. Now, 9 months later, drama is surrounding his recruitment. Kareem had not been shy that he would take visits, and he did. But, he was persistent that he would remain solid to Ohio State, and in January he was going to enroll early, and get a head start on being a Buckeye.

Then, just last week, news swept over Buckeye fans everywhere that “the 5 star running back” was going to visit “the school up north” for their game against a resurging team in Northwestern.

Unlike some other schools; at Ohio State, they will let their commits visit other schools. As a parent, Urban realizes that kids need to be able to be reassured that they are making the right choice, so he’s fine with reasonable visits. Because of that, fans weren’t too worried, but recently, rumors have surfaced that Kareem may visit the Big House for the 2nd straight week to watch them take on Michigan State.

A 2nd straight visit would definitely be significant. He would be watching a huge game that could potentially change how the country looks at the Wolverines, and he gets more time for his fellow New Jersey friends such as Ahmir Mitchell and Jabrill Peppers to attempt to flip him.

Obviously, the Buckeyes aren’t going to easily let go of a prized recruit like Kareem, and UM is starting to like their chances with him. Because of that, there was some serious subtweeting going on between coaches on either team.

Now that there is a legitimate chance of a flip, our coaching staff will not sit back and risk not having any true RBs in the class. They went out and started looking around for a potential replacement. That guy was somebody from New London, North Carolina named Antonio Williams. He is a 5’11” 210 lb running back who is ranked the #7 player at his position in the 2016 class.

One apparent problem at the time was that he was a long-time commit to the Wisconsin Badgers. Just two days ago, he said he was going to visit the Buckeyes from October 17th-18th, and then see what happens. Then, the next day, on Wednesday, October 14th, this happened:

It’s easy to assume that this means Kareem is going to decommit, and that Antonio is looking to become a member of the 2016 class. But, you never know what will happen. So, as we wait and see how this officially unfolds, let’s look at some highlights and statistical differences between these two.

It’s not hard to see why Kareem is ranked so highly when it comes to his highlights. For being a fairly tall and big back, he has nice 2nd level speed to makes some big plays. In there, he shows pretty good patience, and he definitely shows good agility and ability to find the hole. One problem he has is that his lower body isn’t very big and strong. With his height, people are going to be hitting him especially low, so if he wants to be a successful and efficient RB in the B1G he will definitely have to improve that. Just look at Ezekiel Elliott’s legs, which are very large muscular, and he still suffers from big hits and bruises to his thighs, (which is what brought upon the “Zeke Leap”) so it would be especially hard on Kareem.


Being obvious from the beginning, Antonio is more of the shorter, thicker RB that is similar to Carlos Hyde and Mike Weber. Antonio doesn’t possess the break-away speed that Kareem has, but if he gets to the 2nd level, then he is certainly capable of taking it to the end zone. Being shorter than Kareem he is a bit more difficult to bring down. Less height=Less target, and a lower center of gravity. You can see that Kareem is prone to take big hits, but Antonio more frequently bounces off of tacklers. Also, Antonio isn’t as good at finding the hole and running in between the tackles as Kareem is. Antonio has the frame to run inside, but he definitely likes to bounce it to the outside (even though a lot of it is by design). When he does get to the outside, he is excellent at making one cut and then making a big play. So, from his highlights, he has great ability as a RB, which is obvious from his ranking, but like everybody, he has some room for improvement.

Antonio Williams : Junior Year- 12 games. 231 carries, 2,267 yards, 27 TDs. (9.8 yards per carry, and 188.9 yards per game)

Senior Year- 7 games. 153 carries, 1,824 yards, 18 TDs. (11.9 yards per carry, and 260.6 yards per game)

Kareem Walker : Junior Year- 12 games. 199 carries, 1,607 yards, 26 TDs. (8.1 yards per carry, and 133.9 yards per game)

Senior Year- 5 games. 93 carries, 612 yards, 5 TDs. (6.6 yards per carry, and 122.4 yards per game)


Williams is obviously more depended upon from his team than Walker, and he produces too. Even though the competition he faces isn’t quite as tough as those who Walker faces, running for over 10 yards per carry is an extremely impressive feat. Like I mentioned, Walker plays stiffer competition, who are often some of the best in the country. Obviously, it’s harder to run the ball against them, so his stats aren’t as elevated.

Stats don’t always tell the full story, but they are fun to look at and compare.

So, who’s better? From rating, Walker is. From stats, Williams is. They’re two different types of running backs who have the ability to be successful in college. Either way, the team will be in a good position with these two players. Should you be worried? No, because they are two of the best in high school, and we will get one or the other. If Kareem leaves, then we have a great player to “pick up the rifle,” and if not, then we have the top ranked RB in the country. Urban and his staff are the best in the country; things will be just fine.

Antonio Williams



Kareem Walker

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