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Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III named Maxwell Award and Doak Walker Award finalist

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Walker is currently second in the country in rushing yards.

Syndication: Lansing State Journal Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

The magical season rolls on for Kenneth Walker III and Michigan State, as the junior running back was announced as a finalist for both the Maxwell Award and Doak Walker Award — two of college football’s more prestigious individual trophies.

The Maxwell Award goes to the nation’s best overall player, while the Doak Walker Award is given to the top running back in college football.

The finalists for the Maxwell Award are Walker, quarterback Kenny Pickett (Pittsburgh) and quarterback Bryce Young (Alabama).

The finalists for the Doak Walker Award are Walker, Iowa State’s Breece Hall and Missouri’s Tyler Badie.

Walker is second in the nation in rushing yards with 1,498 and leads the country in yards after contact (1,090). Walker is also first in 20-plus yard carries, and missed forced tackles.

Walker ranks second in rushing yards per game (136.2), tied for fourth in the country in rushing touchdowns (17) and seventh in the country in all-purpose yards per game (144.3).

No Spartan has ever won the Doak Walker Award, while Brad Van Pelt is the lone Michigan State player to win the Maxwell Award, doing so back in 1972.

The winners of the awards will be announced on “The Home Depot College Football Awards” show on Thursday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

The Spartans will take on the Penn State Nittany Lions this Saturday, as Walker will look to solidify his standing in these award races. He can also make up some ground in the Heisman race with a strong performance.