Issiah Walker has come into his own.
The Miami (Fla.) Norland offensive line prospect has been a college football commodity for some time, but really began turning the corner in the offseason between his junior and senior campaign.
Facing the combination of great Miami-area competition as well as national powers like IMG Academy and St. Frances Academy, he anchored a roster that pulled together more wins than losses as the Vikings strung together three wins over their final four contests.
As a recruit, the trajectory of Walker's improvement from one year to the next was reflected. An early pledge to South Carolina, more than a dozen programs challenged the Gamecocks through the beginning of his senior campaign. Walker backed off of the pledge early this fall and it became an in-state battle between Florida, Florida State and local Miami. With the seasons each program had, in addition to UF's need upfront, Walker began to lean towards the SEC option before committing on October 5.
After that point, because of the precedent set, many felt another program could ultimately sign the combination-style lineman. However, he never wavered on the Gators and didn't take an official visit other than to Gainesville thereafter.
Why Walker is an All-American:
The only question surrounding Florida offensive line commitment Issiah Walker at this stage of the game may be his position. He can absolutely play guard in the SEC with his power and athleticism, but he’s repped at tackle throughout high school and has shown pass-protection prowess there against elite competition for the last couple of years.
As a junior, he was known for his athleticism and narrow build, mirroring what the NFL has coveted at the tackle position. Now some 40 pounds heavier, Walker is more dominant than ever at the point of attack while still flashing the ability to win on the edge against the speed rushers of the new generation.
The senior is carrying the added mass well and will be in Gainesville to kick off his college career in January, a move that should lead to fairly early playing time for a top 10 program.
2019 SI All-American Offensive Team:
WR Malachi Wideman, FSU (Why Wideman? Highlights)
OL Nate Anderson, Oklahoma (Why Anderson? Highlights)
2019 SI All-American Defensive Team:
DL Jordan Burch, Uncommitted (Why Burch? Highlights)
LB Justin Flowe, Uncommitted (Why Flowe? Highlights)
DB Kelee Ringo, Uncommitted (Why Ringo? Highlights)
DB Enzo Jennings, Penn State (Why Jennings? Highlights)
ATH Avantae Williams, Uncommitted (Why Williams? Highlights)