Since his first carry as a Michigan State Spartan, Kenneth Walker III has been special in the backfield, and he was officially recognized as the best running back in the nation after receiving the Doak Walker Award on Thursday night. He is the first ever Spartan to win the prestigious award.
Update: Later on Thursday night, the Walter Camp Football Foundation also awarded Walker as the 2021 Walter Camp Player of the Year. The award is given to the top college football player in the nation, as selected by FBS head coaches and sports information directors. Walker becomes the first ever Spartan to earn this honor as well. He also now becomes the only college football player ever to win the Walter Camp Player of the Year award and not be a Heisman finalist.
Congrats @MSU_Football running back Kenneth Walker III - the 2021 @WalterCampFF Player of Year as selected by the nation’s FBS head coaches and sports information directors @ncfaa pic.twitter.com/zzvObGaevl— Walter Camp Football (@WalterCampFF) December 10, 2021
For those who don’t remember, Walker took his first carry 75 yards to the house against Northwestern, and never stopped running from there.
Walker ended the regular season with 263 carries, 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was top-five in the nation in carries and yards. He also added 13 catches for 89 yards and a touchdown in the receiving game.
The junior running back beat out Iowa State’s Breece Hall and Missouri’s Tyler Badie for the award. This comes just days after Walker was excluded from the Heisman Trophy finalists list.
Walker provided some electric moments in his one season wearing the Green and White, but here are a few that prove why he was named the nation’s top running back.
After a Michigan State running back did not have a single rushing touchdown in 2020, Walker immediately put the country on notice after transferring to MSU:
Kenneth Walker III breaks free for a 75 yard TD. Michigan State didn’t score a rushing TD last season. They scored one on the first play from scrimmage this season.— CFB Blitz (@BlitzCfb) September 4, 2021
MICHIGAN STATE 7
Walker makes something out of nothing:
How does Miami’s Scout Team Offense simulate this in preparation for facing Kenneth Walker III? pic.twitter.com/bTrbHL7X96— Al Karsten (@bigalfredosauce) September 15, 2021
The Spartans pick up a key road win:
After struggling to find running room all game, he delivers in the biggest moment:
Perhaps the most iconic run of the season for Walker:
KENNETH WALKER— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 9, 2021
94 YARDS! pic.twitter.com/Pb291Pzkhu
Relive Walker terrorizing the Michigan defense:
Walker dominates Maryland:
He solidifies his case for all major awards with the win over Penn State: