Michigan State Spartans running back Kenneth Walker III continues to roll in the well-deserved honors this season, as he was named a semifinalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year this afternoon. No Spartan has won the award previously.
Walker currently leads the nation in both rushing yards (1,340, according to Sports Reference, MSU lists 1,330) and average rushing yards per game (147.8). He also leads the nation in yards after contact (981) and 20-plus yard carried (16). Walker ranks third in the nation in yards from scrimmage (154 yards per game), third in rushing touchdowns (15), third in scoring (10.7 points per game), third in total touchdowns (16), third in total points (96), fourth in 10-plus yard carries (35), fifth in all-purpose yards (154.0 yards per game) and 10th in yards per carry (6.75 yards per carry).
Walker continues to lead the nation in rushing yards through nine games, and has the most rushing yards of any Spartan since Jeremy Langford’s 1,522 yards through 13 games in 2014. Walker, however, is the fastest Spartan to reach 1,000 yards in a single season in school history, achieving the feat on just his 153rd carry of the season.
The annual award is the fourth oldest in college football and is given annually to a player selected by a group of 130-voters in conjunction with the Walter Camp Foundation. Last year, Alabama’s wide receiver Devonta Smith won both the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and the Heisman Trophy.
Per the Walter Camp website, the voters include: “130 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors. A list of five finalists will be announced on Thursday, December 2, and the winner announced on ESPN’s College Football Awards Show on Thursday, December 9.”
Walker is one of four Big Ten players to be included in the list of 15 semifinalists. The list includes two players from Ohio State, one from Penn State, and Walker of the Spartans. Western Kentucky’s quarterback Bailey Zappe, who threw for 488 yards, three touchdowns, and completed 44-of-64 passes against MSU earlier this season, also made the list. Of those included, there are eight quarterbacks, four defensive players, two running backs, and one wide receiver.
- Will Anderson, Alabama, LB
- Matt Corral, Ole Miss, QB
- Jordan Davis, Georgia, DL
- Jahan Dotson, Penn State, WR
- Sam Hartman, Wake Forest, QB
- TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State, RB
- Devin Lloyd, Utah, LB
- Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh, QB
- Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati, QB
- C.J. Stroud, Ohio State, QB
- Kayvon Thibodeaux, DL, Oregon
- Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State, RB
- Caleb Williams, Oklahoma, QB
- Bryce Young, Alabama, QB
- Bailey Zappe, QB, Western Kentucky