One of the top-rated 2016 recruits in the Big Ten can't get on the field and now we know why

This big-time 2016 recruit has been absent and we finally know the reasoning behind it.

At one point, Kareem Walker was the top running back recruit in the country when it came to the Class of 2016. Now, he has been on campus at Michigan for several months and has been largely absent from the proceedings.

On Monday, however, Jim Harbaugh (finally) provided clarification for Walker's absence, as he is dealing with academic issues (via

"He's working through some things academically. Where less football and giving him the ability to concentrate on academics for the next weeks (is important)."

"And we'll get some progress reports. But we want to make sure he's doing the job in that regard before he's (back with football completely). Full-time with academics (right now)."

With De'Veon Smith, Drake Johnson and others in front of him on the depth chart, Walker was not expected to garner heavy playing time as a freshman, but the talented running back was an early enrollee and he was impressive in spring practice. Now, fellow freshman Chris Evans, who rushed for more than 100 yards in Michigan's opener, has clearly zoomed ahead on the pecking order, and Harbaugh provided no actual timeline for Walker's return to full-time football activity.

Harbaugh and his staff have been recruiting at an obscenely high level, but in the same breath, getting Walker on track academically has to be a top priority. He is just that impressive of a player, and the Wolverines will lose both Smith and Johnson to graduation following this season.

Kareem Walker isn't a full-time football player right now and, now, at least we know why.