Upon Further Review: Issiah Walker

Upon Further Review: Issiah Walker

Lance Roffers
Issiah Walker has announced he will be transferring to Miami this year. What does he bring to the table? Does he have starting potential? Find out only at Upon Further Review.

Athleticism
I am a big proponent of finding athleticism on the offensive line. As pass rushers become more and more athletic, it is imperative that the men asked to block them also match that athleticism. While Walker’s SPARQ rating falls short of elite status, there are some areas where he really shines, athletically. His 40-yard dash time of 5.17 is the fastest electronic time of any of the OL on the team and is 1.41 standard deviations above the mean. Additionally, his vertical leap of 29.0 inches is tops on the OL and is 1.61 standard deviations above the mean.

He’s roughly average everywhere else and when coupled with his weight of 275 pounds, it leaves him average overall as a SPARQ tester (47th percentile).

Walker hits all of the offensive tackle bench marks for all-conference players except for short shuttle (82% of all-conference OT ran a 4.95 or less SH and Walker ran it in 5.00) and overall SPARQ (69% of all-conference OT had a SPARQ of at least 78, Walker was at 71.94).

When watching him move, you can see he’s an easy mover and has the frame to hold more good weight. Delone Scaife is the best overall tester on the OL and Walker beat Scaife in every event but Power Throw. The reason he tested lower on SPARQ is he was heavily penalized for his weight being only 275 while Scaife was 305. If Walker holds his athleticism with the added weight, it is safe to say he will be an above-average athlete in college.

Finally, I’ve seen a higher correlation to the variance of the standard deviations in the individual events than I have for SPARQ, as I believe it is too heavily slanted towards density (weight) in their equation. Walker, at 1.97 in variance, is a well above-average athlete in this regard.

Film
I am reviewing the game of Norland vs. IMG Academy. IMG Academy is a known powerhouse in HS athletics and have some guys who will play P5 football on the defensive side. It is a good indicator of the natural talent that Walker possesses, in my view.

Norland likes to move Walker and get him to the second level. He’s tall and lean and looks like a TE moving in the open field. He looks like he can move freely, but does get over his toes a bit at the second level and try to lean on LB’s rather than deliver a blow by dropping his knees and bringing his legs with him. On the first play they have him go against Josh Griffis directly, he allows Griffis to lock him out and knock him back by exposing his chest. Something he will need to learn is to get his punch quicker and stronger so the defender can’t control him and set the edge like this play. Griffis resets the LOS and makes the TFL. Loss for Walker, there.
1.png


Walker has had a little trouble with the speed of the defensive players in this one thus far. It’s clear he has some growth to do with his hands usage and definitely with his punch. On this play, it is a jump-set where he is expected to get his hands on the defender quickly as it will be a quick pass. He punches with one hand and misses his strike zone, allowing the defender to catch his hand and swipe the other hand that is late punching. What I really like though is how he instinctively drops his butt and bends at the knees. That trait is difficult to change if they don’t have it already.
2.png


Next rep he again goes against Griffis 1-on-1 and it’s more of a stalemate this time.

He controls him to start. What immediately jumps out are his feet, which are just excellent for a player his size. He’s in perfect position to block this outside speed rush.
3.png


What you see show up again is his lack of grip strength. He fell off a block against Griffis earlier, and then fell off a block against a small LB as well. He finishes by ducking his head once his grip starts to go and that’s a no-no. He’s just grabbing at this point, when he needs to drop his butt and re-anchor when his grip starts to go and guide the rusher upfield.
4.png


Walker showing his length here as he pushes Griffis wide. This is a good illustration of why I’m so excited for his potential, as he has the feet, the length, and the athleticism to become a top-tier college LT.
5.png


I should make this one a gif to illustrate better, but here Walker is doing what is called a 45-set and he executes it perfectly. He jumps out with an impressive first kick, waits for the defender to declare his move (outside or inside), then punches cleanly and accurately. You can see the distance that first kick covers and shows that Griffis isn’t even close to getting around Walker with his speed rush here. Best rep of the game for Walker thus far.
6.png


Another illustration of the length that Walker has, but he also tends to expose his chest at times as well. Here, he has too much length for the defender, but he was late with his hands and the defender already has his chest. At the college level that will get him into trouble. To his credit, his team asks him to vertical set, 45-set, jump-set, and pull and scrape. He’s asked to do a ton at the high school level and that will prepare him for the different techniques he will learn in college.
7.png


Again, Walker pops up way too high, this time on the goal line. We’ve all heard it before, but low-man wins on this type of rep and Walker doesn’t budge this defensive player, despite having 75 pounds on him (That’s Jamarion Ellis, who is listed with an Auburn offer). This is definitely an area for improvement on his tape.
8.png


Another attribute for Walker that I’ve liked is he doesn’t panic on the speed rush. Once the defender declares where he wants to go, Walker is happy to mirror and direct the defender upfield and past his QB. Walker is in no danger here and again has a nice athletic position to exhibit power.
9.png


As you’d expect, he’s a high school offensive lineman, so there will be inconsistencies on tape. Earlier he had a wonderful kick outside and made it where Griffis had no chance on the rep. Here, you can see how short and late that second foot is to get outside and Griffis has leverage on him already.
10.png


It all starts with your feet. Once he was sluggish and off-stride with his base, here he is trying to recover the whole way. Now he is over his toes and off-balance. To make matters worse, he commits the cardinal sin of shooting his outside hand into the middle of the man. Once that happens you are dead. He’s also late with his second hand and Griffis knocks this futile middle punch away and pressures the QB.
11.png


What makes him special is that he has the feet to recover when he makes a mistake and pushes the defender past the QB. Again, he doesn’t panic when he’s initially beaten and can push a defender wide.
12.png


The kid he’s going against has an Auburn offer. The length here is almost unfair. That is absolute stoning against this kid. He’s had some battles with Griffis, but this other kid is no match.
13.png


Overall:

Strengths

  • Clearly, Walker has the feet to play LT at the next level. He has athleticism, length, and is comfortable in pass protection
  • Pass protection in general should be a strength of Walker. He has demonstrated the ability to function in several different blocking techniques that is well beyond his years.
  • Composure. It is rare for a big-time kid to play with the type of composure that he plays with. He reacts and allows the defender to run himself out of the screen.
  • Anchor. This is different than being a bully in the run game. This is the ability to drop your butt and use your base to anchor against power in the passing game. The great LT’s all have the ability to anchor and then re-anchor again. Showing the fluidity and flexibility to do it in high school is a great start for Walker.
  • Kick-slide. Walker has the ability to kick and get that second foot down before the defender can get his second foot down upfield and get the leverage. In pass protection, the player who gets their second foot down and into position generally wins the rep. Walker was a bit inconsistent, but overall exhibited next-level talent in this area.


Opportunities
  • Walker is far ahead in his pass protection than he is in the running game. You want to see a player with his physical gifts be much more of a butt-kicker in the run game, but he left me wanting more in that regard. He’s more a wall-and-shield blocker in the run game and never did bury a single defender in this game.
  • Grip Strength. There were several instances where Walker would get his hands on the defender and then fall off, allowing the defender to shed and make the stop. Walker will need to improve his grip strength so that he can sustain blocks longer.
  • Transferring is something that gets my attention, as I want to know why and is this an indicator of something inside with this player. I had hoped to answer those questions with a nasty on-field demeanor and a player who wanted to steal the soul of his opponent. I didn’t see that in this one particular game. I saw a player with a finesse on-field demeanor and I hope they can get him play meaner at the college level.
  • Hand usage is inconsistent and his punch is late. That could be because he’s simply bigger and stronger than everyone he plays, or it could be Walker thinking too much out there. Either way, this should improve as the game slows down for him and he becomes more confident in his strength.
  • It is glaringly obvious Walker will need to gain weight, strength, and core functional strength to reach his full potential. This is a player with the frame to fill out to be 320 pounds and test even better after three or four years.
It’s a side note, but watching Walker’s tape was like watching a bit shorter Austin Jackson. Jackson recently went 18th overall to the Miami Dolphins and was a 1st-team All-Pac 12 player this year. To me, that’s the type of player he can become if he continues to develop. He probably isn't a future 1st round pick because not many 6-4 OT's go first round, but he's a high-level LT prospect at the P5 level.

As with almost any high school OL. he is a bit raw in his fundamentals, and Walker might need a year before he starts for this team, but he absolutely is the type of offensive tackle that Miami needs to continue getting to campus in order to take the next step as a program. Excited to get him.
 

Comments (37)

At the opening Dallas he was speculated to be 305 pounds, when did this Sparq testing occur that he was only 275 ?
 
I have been reading that his current weight is 295.
 
At the opening Dallas he was speculated to be 305 pounds, when did this Sparq testing occur that he was only 275 ?
Going into his senior year, like most testing numbers are posted. I'm sure he's gained weight since then and he looks 300 pounds in the game I watched of him.

It doesn't change the fact that when he did the testing he was a verified 275 pounds.
 
Great analysis, Lance. I wish he were our next Winston, Henderson or Flowers coming out. But it's still nice to be confident that Walker is going to be a good one after a couple years of development.
 
Issiah Walker has announced he will be transferring to Miami this year. What does he bring to the table? Does he have starting potential? Find out only at Upon Further Review.

Athleticism
I am a big proponent of finding athleticism on the offensive line. As pass rushers become more and more athletic, it is imperative that the men asked to block them also match that athleticism. While Walker’s SPARQ rating falls short of elite status, there are some areas where he really shines, athletically. His 40-yard dash time of 5.17 is the fastest electronic time of any of the OL on the team and is 1.41 standard deviations above the mean. Additionally, his vertical leap of 29.0 inches is tops on the OL and is 1.61 standard deviations above the mean.

He’s roughly average everywhere else and when coupled with his weight of 275 pounds, it leaves him average overall as a SPARQ tester (47th percentile).

Walker hits all of the offensive tackle bench marks for all-conference players except for short shuttle (82% of all-conference OT ran a 4.95 or less SH and Walker ran it in 5.00) and overall SPARQ (69% of all-conference OT had a SPARQ of at least 78, Walker was at 71.94).

When watching him move, you can see he’s an easy mover and has the frame to hold more good weight. Delone Scaife is the best overall tester on the OL and Walker beat Scaife in every event but Power Throw. The reason he tested lower on SPARQ is he was heavily penalized for his weight being only 275 while Scaife was 305. If Walker holds his athleticism with the added weight, it is safe to say he will be an above-average athlete in college.

Finally, I’ve seen a higher correlation to the variance of the standard deviations in the individual events than I have for SPARQ, as I believe it is too heavily slanted towards density (weight) in their equation. Walker, at 1.97 in variance, is a well above-average athlete in this regard.

Film
I am reviewing the game of Norland vs. IMG Academy. IMG Academy is a known powerhouse in HS athletics and have some guys who will play P5 football on the defensive side. It is a good indicator of the natural talent that Walker possesses, in my view.

Norland likes to move Walker and get him to the second level. He’s tall and lean and looks like a TE moving in the open field. He looks like he can move freely, but does get over his toes a bit at the second level and try to lean on LB’s rather than deliver a blow by dropping his knees and bringing his legs with him. On the first play they have him go against Josh Griffis directly, he allows Griffis to lock him out and knock him back by exposing his chest. Something he will need to learn is to get his punch quicker and stronger so the defender can’t control him and set the edge like this play. Griffis resets the LOS and makes the TFL. Loss for Walker, there.
View attachment 116630

Walker has had a little trouble with the speed of the defensive players in this one thus far. It’s clear he has some growth to do with his hands usage and definitely with his punch. On this play, it is a jump-set where he is expected to get his hands on the defender quickly as it will be a quick pass. He punches with one hand and misses his strike zone, allowing the defender to catch his hand and swipe the other hand that is late punching. What I really like though is how he instinctively drops his butt and bends at the knees. That trait is difficult to change if they don’t have it already.
View attachment 116631

Next rep he again goes against Griffis 1-on-1 and it’s more of a stalemate this time.

He controls him to start. What immediately jumps out are his feet, which are just excellent for a player his size. He’s in perfect position to block this outside speed rush.
View attachment 116632

What you see show up again is his lack of grip strength. He fell off a block against Griffis earlier, and then fell off a block against a small LB as well. He finishes by ducking his head once his grip starts to go and that’s a no-no. He’s just grabbing at this point, when he needs to drop his butt and re-anchor when his grip starts to go and guide the rusher upfield.
View attachment 116633

Walker showing his length here as he pushes Griffis wide. This is a good illustration of why I’m so excited for his potential, as he has the feet, the length, and the athleticism to become a top-tier college LT.
View attachment 116634

I should make this one a gif to illustrate better, but here Walker is doing what is called a 45-set and he executes it perfectly. He jumps out with an impressive first kick, waits for the defender to declare his move (outside or inside), then punches cleanly and accurately. You can see the distance that first kick covers and shows that Griffis isn’t even close to getting around Walker with his speed rush here. Best rep of the game for Walker thus far.
View attachment 116635

Another illustration of the length that Walker has, but he also tends to expose his chest at times as well. Here, he has too much length for the defender, but he was late with his hands and the defender already has his chest. At the college level that will get him into trouble. To his credit, his team asks him to vertical set, 45-set, jump-set, and pull and scrape. He’s asked to do a ton at the high school level and that will prepare him for the different techniques he will learn in college.
View attachment 116636

Again, Walker pops up way too high, this time on the goal line. We’ve all heard it before, but low-man wins on this type of rep and Walker doesn’t budge this defensive player, despite having 75 pounds on him (That’s Jamarion Ellis, who is listed with an Auburn offer). This is definitely an area for improvement on his tape.
View attachment 116637

Another attribute for Walker that I’ve liked is he doesn’t panic on the speed rush. Once the defender declares where he wants to go, Walker is happy to mirror and direct the defender upfield and past his QB. Walker is in no danger here and again has a nice athletic position to exhibit power.
View attachment 116638

As you’d expect, he’s a high school offensive lineman, so there will be inconsistencies on tape. Earlier he had a wonderful kick outside and made it where Griffis had no chance on the rep. Here, you can see how short and late that second foot is to get outside and Griffis has leverage on him already.
View attachment 116640

It all starts with your feet. Once he was sluggish and off-stride with his base, here he is trying to recover the whole way. Now he is over his toes and off-balance. To make matters worse, he commits the cardinal sin of shooting his outside hand into the middle of the man. Once that happens you are dead. He’s also late with his second hand and Griffis knocks this futile middle punch away and pressures the QB.
View attachment 116641

What makes him special is that he has the feet to recover when he makes a mistake and pushes the defender past the QB. Again, he doesn’t panic when he’s initially beaten and can push a defender wide.
View attachment 116643

The kid he’s going against has an Auburn offer. The length here is almost unfair. That is absolute stoning against this kid. He’s had some battles with Griffis, but this other kid is no match.
View attachment 116644

Overall:

Strengths

  • Clearly, Walker has the feet to play LT at the next level. He has athleticism, length, and is comfortable in pass protection
  • Pass protection in general should be a strength of Walker. He has demonstrated the ability to function in several different blocking techniques that is well beyond his years.
  • Composure. It is rare for a big-time kid to play with the type of composure that he plays with. He reacts and allows the defender to run himself out of the screen.
  • Anchor. This is different than being a bully in the run game. This is the ability to drop your butt and use your base to anchor against power in the passing game. The great LT’s all have the ability to anchor and then re-anchor again. Showing the fluidity and flexibility to do it in high school is a great start for Walker.
  • Kick-slide. Walker has the ability to kick and get that second foot down before the defender can get his second foot down upfield and get the leverage. In pass protection, the player who gets their second foot down and into position generally wins the rep. Walker was a bit inconsistent, but overall exhibited next-level talent in this area.


Opportunities
  • Walker is far ahead in his pass protection than he is in the running game. You want to see a player with his physical gifts be much more of a butt-kicker in the run game, but he left me wanting more in that regard. He’s more a wall-and-shield blocker in the run game and never did bury a single defender in this game.
  • Grip Strength. There were several instances where Walker would get his hands on the defender and then fall off, allowing the defender to shed and make the stop. Walker will need to improve his grip strength so that he can sustain blocks longer.
  • Transferring is something that gets my attention, as I want to know why and is this an indicator of something inside with this player. I had hoped to answer those questions with a nasty on-field demeanor and a player who wanted to steal the soul of his opponent. I didn’t see that in this one particular game. I saw a player with a finesse on-field demeanor and I hope they can get him play meaner at the college level.
  • Hand usage is inconsistent and his punch is late. That could be because he’s simply bigger and stronger than everyone he plays, or it could be Walker thinking too much out there. Either way, this should improve as the game slows down for him and he becomes more confident in his strength.
  • It is glaringly obvious Walker will need to gain weight, strength, and core functional strength to reach his full potential. This is a player with the frame to fill out to be 320 pounds and test even better after three or four years.
It’s a side note, but watching Walker’s tape was like watching a bit shorter Austin Jackson. Jackson recently went 18th overall to the Miami Dolphins and was a 1st-team All-Pac 12 player this year. To me, that’s the type of player he can become if he continues to develop. He probably isn't a future 1st round pick because not many 6-4 OT's go first round, but he's a high-level LT prospect at the P5 level.

As with almost any high school OL. he is a bit raw in his fundamentals, and Walker might need a year before he starts for this team, but he absolutely is the type of offensive tackle that Miami needs to continue getting to campus in order to take the next step as a program. Excited to get him.
Austin Jackson is a athletic freak and moves around like a tight end. Jackson was a dominant 5 Star All American OT coming out of high school and moved like a Gazelle. Walker will be a solid OT but Jackson was far more physically and Athletically gifted then Walker
 
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Good breakdown,

just noticed he had a UM arm band in this video too. Seems like walker can be a leader on the oline
06ED57B1-E74A-4F17-A11E-F4E6913D3627.jpeg

 
Austin Jackson is a athletic freak and moves around like a tight end. Jackson was a dominant 5 Star All American OT coming out of high school and moved like a Gazelle. Walker will be a solid OT but Jackson was far more physically and Athletically gifted then Walker
Did you know; Austin Jackson was 6-5, 260 at the same point-in-time as Walker was 275?

Both were HS All-Americans and Jackson was a consensus 4-star, same as Walker.

🤷‍♂️
 
Did you know; Austin Jackson was 6-5, 260 at the same point-in-time as Walker was 275?

Both were HS All-Americans and Jackson was a consensus 4-star, same as Walker.

🤷‍♂️
Jackson was also a dominant DE in high school and was significantly more athletic then Walker. Jackson was light years better then Walker when he was a high school senior. Jackson was also a 5 Star prospect according to 247 and the 21st Overall player in the country
 
Jackson was also a dominant DE in high school and was significantly more athletic then Walker. Jackson was light years better then Walker when he was a high school senior. Jackson was also a 5 Star prospect according to 247 and the 21st Overall player in the country
I have watched, graded, reviewed multiple games of Austin Jackson. (I’m a huge Dolphins and NFL draft fan)

Watching Walker was like watching a younger Austin Jackson. For both the good and the bad.

Jackson is taller and longer, which is why I posted Walker most likely will not be a 1st round talent, but will be a high-end P5 OT.

Jackson’s main claim to fame is he has so many technical issues, but is the youngest offensive player in the draft. I’m doing a project around draft age and it is a statistically significant variable that sets a players ceiling.

I don’t have age data on Walker to compare.
 

2021 Commits

OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
OT
6'7"
255
Pompano Beach, FL
CB
5'10"
145
Miami, FL
TE
6'2"
205
Miami, FL
CB
5'11"
160
Fort Myers, FL
C
6'3"
280
Miami, FL
OLB
6'3"
205
Miami, FL

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09/05
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