MSU's Kenneth Walker III named Big Ten Running Back of the Year

Kenneth Walker III Michigan Michigan State Football
Posted at 1:22 PM, Dec 01, 2021

(WXYZ) — Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III has been named the Big Ten Running Back of the Year, the conference announced on Wedesday.

Walker, a junior and a Heisman Trophy candidate, is the first Spartan to win the award, named after Wisconsin's Alan Ameche and Ron Dayne.

He was also named to the All-Big Ten First Team, the first for an MSU running back since Le'Veon Bell in 2012.

Walker led the Big Ten in rushing all season and is second in the FBS with 1,636 rushing yards. He leads the FBS is rushing yards after contact – 1,154 – 20-plus yard carries – 21 – and missed forced tackles – 89.

He also rushed for 18 touchdowns, including five against the Wolverines on Oct. 30. He added 13 receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown.

Ten other starters on Michigan State's offense earned All-Big Ten recognition. Wide receiver Jayden Reed was named to the third-team, and nine other players earned honorable mention: C Matt Allen (coaches and media), OT AJ Arcuri (media), OG Blake Bueter (media), OG J.D. Duplain (media), TE Connor Heyward (coaches and media), OT Jarrett Horst (coaches and media), OG/OT Kevin Jarvis (media), WR Jalen Nailor (media) and QB Payton Thorne (coaches and media).

On Tuesday, MSU Head Coach Mel Tucker was named Big Ten Coach of the Year.