A little over 10 months ago, at halftime of Ohio State's eventual national championship win over the Oregon Ducks, '16 RB Kareem Walker shocked plenty by committing to Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. It was a tremendous addition for the Scarlet and Gray, adding the top RB in the nation and from an area where OSU actively recruits each recruiting cycle, it was a win that couldn't be understated. However, it didn't stick like Ohio State had hoped.
The five-star RB announced on Twitter that he was backing off his Buckeye pledge Tuesday evening. Though some had speculated there might be an off chance Walker would honor his commitment after rumors he'd decommit, the latter ultimately played out after all.
Starting in April of this year, Walker began making visits to other programs. The 6'1, 210-pounder made stops to Alabama, Auburn, Arizona State, Rutgers and even received scholarship offers from the Sun Devils and USC Trojans. Despite these actions, the DePaul Catholic (NJ) star still remained a member of the Buckeyes class. It wasn't until a month ago that things began to turn.
When archrival Michigan took on Northwestern on Oct. 10 in Ann Arbor, it received an official visit from Walker. The Ohio State pledge -- at that time -- watched the Wolverines walk all over the Wildcats by a final score of 38-0.
After the visit, the rumor mill was abuzz about the current status of the five-star with the Buckeyes. The Wayne (NJ) native insists that coaching staff in Columbus was aware that he would take visits to other schools just in case something was to happen at Ohio State. Pretty much, Walker was looking for a Plan B option or fall back option in case someone like Tony Alford was to go elsewhere like Stan Drayton, who is now with the Chicago Bears, did last year. So, it was only right that the Buckeyes keep their eyes opened much like Walker was.
Last month, it was reported that Ohio State would have '16 RB Antonio Williams, who at the time was committed to Wisconsin, on campus for an unofficial visit for the game against the Nittany Lions. Prior to the visit to The Horseshoe, Williams backed off of his pledge to the Badgers and it was all but locked in that he was going to be a member of the Buckeye class.
Back to Walker -- It was not long ago ago that Walker told 247Sports' Alex Gleitman that he was 100% committed to the Buckeyes. However, Ohio State also didn't have any other true running back in the class. That changed when the aformentioned Williams out of North Carolina gave his verbal to the Buckeye coaching staff. The former Badger commitment becoming a member of the OSU class could have helped influence the decision for Walker. With the loss of Walker, the Buckeyes fall below LSU and now claim the No. 2 spot on the 2016 team recruiting rankings.
Walker released the following statement on his Twitter account:
I've decided to decommit pic.twitter.com/T6HZ77p4Bg— AlⓂ️ightyReem (@_KareemWalker) November 4, 2015