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Kareem Walker is making academic progress, will ‘probably’ redshirt

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The four-star running back from the 2016 class has not stepped on the field for Michigan, and “probably” will not all season.

NCAA Football: Michigan Spring Game Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Kareem Walker is making progress with his academics, which is good. However, the four-star running back from the 2016 class might not see the field for Michigan this season.

“Kareem and I talked on Friday, and it’s going really well right now,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday. “It’s a positive, and we’ll see.

“Since it is going so well, I think that’s something we’ll continue to do, and at this point he would redshirt this year. The main focus (is on academics). To see him excited about class, and he’s having success and he’s doing well, we’ll see how it goes. But he’s also physically training and working out with the team. There was an excitement, an enthusiasm he has right now about academics and school. He’s shot up in that regard.”

Coming out of De Paul Catholic High School in Wayne, New Jersey, Walker was ranked 101st in the 2016 class, according to 247Sports. He was the fourth-best running back and the No. 3 athlete from New Jersey.

Walker, during his senior season, played in 12 games for De Paul Catholic. He ran 215 times for 1,517 yards and 13 touchdowns, while adding five receptions for 35 yards and a score. In his junior season, Walker scored 26 rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown. He averaged 114.1 yards per game and 1.4 touchdowns per game in his high school career.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound running back is training and working out with the team, but it is unclear if Walker is taking part in practice. He was on the sidelines in street clothes for Michigan’s 49-10 win over Penn State on Saturday.

"He's also physically training and working out with the team," Harbaugh said. "But there was an excitement and an enthusiasm he has right now about academics and school -- it's been a real shot up in that regard. So we'll see."

All in all, Walker is making progress in the classroom, which is most important to the University of Michigan and Harbaugh.

Drake Johnson, another Michigan running back, missed the first three games of the season. He was on the sidelines for the game against Penn State. Unlike Walker, Johnson was dressed in uniform.

“He had a soft tissue injury that came up before the first game and he’s worked his way back, practiced last week,” Harbaugh said. “Getting back to action.”