Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III earns weekly Big Ten honor

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

The record-setting debut for Kenneth Walker III is starting to gain some recognition.

After rushing for 264 yards and four touchdowns in Michigan State’s season-opening 38-21 victory over Northwestern, the junior running back was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Monday.

The Wake Forest transfer sparked the victory on the first play of his Michigan State career, going 75 yards for a touchdown to give MSU the lead just 13 seconds into the game. By the time he was done, Walker had run for the seventh-highest single-game total in Michigan State history and gained the most rushing yards by a Spartan in his program debut.

Walker’s four touchdowns were a career high, as he added scoring runs of 3, 5 and 6 yards and had long runs of 50, 30 and 23 yards on top of the opening scamper.

He became the second Spartan to record more than 250 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the same game, joining Eric Allen, who ran for a school-record 350 yards and four touchdowns against  Purdue in 1971.

Walker currently leads the nation in rushing and is tied for first in rushing touchdowns. He scored 17 rushing TDs in his first two seasons at Wake Forest and now has 21 overall in his career.

Walker is the first Michigan State player to win the award since wide receiver Felton Davis on Oct. 2, 2017.


Twitter: @mattcharboneau