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Michigan State lands running back Kenneth Walker III, transfer from Wake Forest

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

A day after entering the NCAA transfer portal, Wake Forest running back Kenneth Walker III announced on Twitter that he had committed to Michigan State.

The former two-star recruit from Arlington, Tennessee, in the 2019 class ran for 579 yards and 13 touchdowns in just seven games in 2020, deciding to opt out of Wake Forest’s final two games.

Wake Forest running back Kenneth Walker III (9) rushed for 13 touchdowns this season.

As a freshman in 2019, Walker ran for 579 yards and four touchdowns, including eight carries for 24 yards with one reception for two yards against Michigan State in the Pinstripe Bowl. He also returned three kickoffs in that game for an average of 19.3 yards.

Walker (5-foot-10, 200 pounds) becomes the second running back to commit to Michigan State out of the transfer portal, joining Harold Joiner III, who announced he was transferring from Auburn to Michigan State in December.

At Michigan State, Walker and Joiner will become part of a crowded backfield, but one that is open for a someone to stand out. Freshman Jordon Simmons played well this season and figures into Michigan State’s future plans, while junior Connor Heyward saw the most consistent playing time. Sophomore Elijah Collins saw sporadic playing time after leading Michigan State in rushing in 2019 while sophomore Brandon Wright played primarily on special teams.

Freshman Donovan Eaglin did not appeared in a game in 2020 and Michigan State also signed Oak Park’s Davion Primm during the early signing period in December.

Sophomore Anthony Williams entered the transfer portal, along with fullback Max Rosenthal and walk-on Andre Welch.

Michigan State has had 14 players enter the transfer portal since the season began under first-year coach Mel Tucker.

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @mattcharboneau