Amorion Walker ready to ‘show the world what I can do’ with Michigan football in 2023

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Amorion Walker has quickly emerged as one of the most intriguing young players on the Michigan football team.

The Ponchatoula, La., product arrived in Ann Arbor last winter as a work in progress, carrying just 170 pounds on a 6-foot-3 frame. But he earned immediate playing time anyway, seeing action in six games and splitting time between offense, defense and special teams in 2022.

As the season ended, Walker was still practicing both offense and defense, he told The Michigan Insider.

“I’m still practicing at both. They’re really going to try to let me excel at both,” Walker said. As for his preference?

“Whatever is going to get me playing, honestly,” he said.

As a freshman, Walker did a bit of everything. He debuted in the 2022 season opener against Colorado State at receiver, then played both ways — WR and cornerback — the following week against Hawaii. He caught his first pass against UConn and was targeted by JJ McCarthy on a deep shot against Rutgers.

“He’s got special, unique abilities in terms of athleticism,” Jim Harbaugh said last fall of Walker. “And that’s something that he wants to do, and something that he is smart enough to do — to be a two-way player. And you saw that play out on Saturday night, and he had extended snaps on defense, and I thought he did really well. So I think he’s got a bright future. Right now being a two-way player.”

Of course, Walker isn’t the only Michigan player with that kind of positional versatility. Mike Sainristil played at receiver for three years before enjoying a massively successful 2022 season at nickel.

Sainristil — perhaps a bit selfishly — wants Walker to make the switch to defense full-time.

“The advice Mikey gave me was that he wants me to play defense. He knows how good I can be on that side of the ball,” Walker said. “But he feels like I haven’t really gotten my shot yet on offense.”

For Walker, getting his shot starts with building his body. In late December, he told TMI he was up to about 190 pounds — 10 pounds more than his listed weight on the Michigan roster.

Then came fine-tooling his skills at receiver.

“I think I improved a lot in just learning the game,” he said. “Mentally-wise, knowing how things work, being able to break down coverages. I think I got better at my route running and physically-wise, I put on like 30 pounds. Strength is getting there. Becoming a complete receiver.”

And on the defensive side?

“I feel like I learn more on that side of the ball every day, too,” Walker said. “The more I go over there, the more I excel. I’m doing split, so it’s hard to thrive in one right now. But I’ll figure it out.”

His coaches seem to believe he will, too. Last fall, defensive backs coach Steve Clinkscale described Walker as an “exciting, electrifying weapon” with a future at receiver, corner — or both. He explained that Michigan could get “creative” with a player of his skill-set.

While it seems Walker’s role in 2023 and beyond is yet to be determined, about one thing he is certain:

“This year,” he said, “I’m going to show the world what I can do.”

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