Good things come to those who wait.
Throughout much of the 2018 recruiting cycle, the Virginia Cavaliers pinned their hopes for a running back on Hopewell’s Ronnie Walker. A top-10 player in the Commonwealth and a top-20 running back nationally, Walker showed mutual interest but ended up selecting Indiana for his college destination.
On Friday, Walker announced he would be coming to UVA after all, transferring from IU after two seasons. Walker compiled 220 yards and 2 touchdowns on 59 carries in his two years in Bloomington, with another touchdown on 12 receptions for for 112 yards through the air.
It is not clear whether Walker will be eligible to play in 2020, but he retains two years of eligibility as he did not redshirt at IU.
A high three-star coming out of high school—a 247 Composite rating of 88.51—Walker was pursued by a number of other ACC and Big Ten programs, including Virginia Tech, North Carolina, NC State, Duke, and Michigan State. After choosing Indiana, Walker enrolled in January 2018.
If Walker is eligible to play this fall—assuming a fall 2020 season happens—his transfer commitment could add needed experience and depth to the Hoos’ backfield after the departures of Lamont Atkins and PK Kier in early February, and Seneca Milledge and RJ Harvey in March. Wayne Taulapapa is the incumbent starter, with sophomores Mike Hollins and Perris Jones the leading backups. The only other backfield options for the Hoos include H-backs Billy Kemp and fullbacks Jamari Peacock and Andrew Yavinsky.
Where things get really interesting are into 2021 and beyond. Walker’s younger brother is TreVeyon Henderson, a five-star running back at Hopewell and the #3 player in Virginia for the class of 2021 (#17 nationally). Henderson responded to the news of Walker entering the transfer portal with fairly unbridled excitement:
Henderson holds more than 30 Power Five offers (including Notre Dame), with Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia, and LSU among them. Henderson has committed to Ohio State, but the draw of a family reunion in Scott Stadium could give UVA the leg-up it needs to win him back before Signing Day.
(Oh—and their littlest brother Kesean is also a freak, just entering his freshman year of high school.)
It’s been a long winding road, but enjoy your Hoos finally landing Ronnie Walker as a shot of good energy heading into the weekend.