Kenneth Walker III reflects on decision to transfer to Michigan State, monster performance vs. Michigan
Michigan State was the biggest beneficiary of recruiting from the transfer portal in 2021. Adding Kenneth Walker III to the backfield helped catapult the Spartans back to the top of the B1G.
Walker ended the season with 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns, helping lead Michigan State to an 11-2 record. He was named the B1G Running Back of the Year and was presented with the Doak Walker Award, the top honor for running backs in college football.
Now, Walker is hoping all that success he enjoyed in East Lansing last season translates to a high draft pick this week. Joining Good Morning Football this week, the former Spartan reflected on his decision to transfer to Michigan State.
“The reason for my transfer was I felt like the offense that I was in (at Wake Forest) wasn’t a fit for me,” Walker said. “So when I entered the portal and talked to different teams and being able to talk to Coach (Mel) Tuck(er) and (Jay Johnson), that was great. And then they put me in an offense where I felt like I fit well.”
One of the moments that stood out from Walker’s incredible 2021 campaign was his performance against Michigan.
Walker helped lead a furious comeback win in late October to keep the Spartans’ undefeated season alive. He rushed for 197 yards and 5 touchdowns on 23 carries in a 37-33 win.
Looking back, Walker admits he didn’t quite understand the intensity of the in-state rivalry when he arrived. It didn’t take him long to realize how big it was, though.
“Honestly, not knowing about the rivalry, I found out actually that upcoming week about how big it was,” Walker said. “That was really big and exciting to see how much culture and history this game had.
“What stood out to me was pretty much after the game. We were all celebrating together. It was just so surreal to have a day like that. It was a blessing and a great experience.
Walker could be the first running back selected in this year’s NFL Draft. He’s currently a second-round projection.
Below is the entire interview:
“You put in the 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤, and you see it pay off” 💭@Kenneth_Walker9
— Michigan State Football (@MSU_Football) April 27, 2022