Miami football was prepared for Issiah Walker entering transfer portal

Four-star offensive tackle Issiah Walker at Florida State's Saturday Night Live recruiting event.Img 2041
Four-star offensive tackle Issiah Walker at Florida State's Saturday Night Live recruiting event.Img 2041 /

The Miami football program was prepared for rising third-year freshman offensive lineman Issiah Walker to enter the transfer portal. Walker entered the portal on Monday per multiple reports. The addition of Walker to the transfer portal has been rumored since early May. Miami has added several offensive linemen for 2022.

Walker initially joined the Miami football program in May 2020 after spending one semester at Florida as an early enrollee. The transfer from Miami will be the third program for Walker without ever playing a down in college. Walker had to sit out the 2020 season because of transfer rules and redshirted in 2021.

Walker signed with Florida over Miami and several other Power Five programs. The former Miami Norland star was the 157th ranked player, 15th offensive tackle and 24th player in Florida in the Class of 2020. Walker was a huge addition to the Miami football program at the time of his transfer and expected an anchor on the OL.

Head coach Mario Cristobal has made upgrading the offensive line a priority during the 2022 offseason. Miami signed three-star OL Anez Cooper and Matthew McCoy in the 2022 freshman class. Miami also added former Oregon OL Jonathan Denis and Logan Sagapolu from the transfer portal to the 2022 roster.

Miami returns center Jakai Clark, OT Zion Nelson and versatile OL D.J. Scaife as starters on the OL. Jalen Rivers who missed most of the 2021 season with a knee injury is expected to regain a starting position on the OL in 2022. Several other candidates will compete to be the fifth starter for Miami on the OL.

Veterans John Campbell and Justice Oluwaseun will likely compete to start on the right side of the OL where Scaife isn’t a starter. Scaife has started almost everywhere on the OL. Nelson is locked in at LT. Cristobal has worked extensively with the OL during the offseason as a former player at the position when he played for Miami.

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Walker is the second OL Miami lost since the beginning of last season. Former Miami starting center Corey Gaynor is now with North Carolina. Walker was recruited to Miami by former OL Garin Justice who left with ex Hurricanes’ offensive Rhett Lashlee who was hired as the head coach at SMU.