The Big Ten has produced its share of first-class runs over the years.

This year is no different with the advent of Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker, who follows a long tradition of top runners taking both college and eventually the NFL by storm.

From Jonathan Taylor in Wisconsin, to Le’Veon Bell in Michigan or Saquon Barkley in Pennsylvania, some of the league’s best runners at one time or another are from the Big Ten.

But Walker’s run is, at least in part, different from his recent high-profile running appearances from the Big Ten: He’s not been a fast-paced threat at 1,000 yards yet, in his first year, and he wasn’t an advantage until this year, either. Nor does he receive a background threat as Barkley, Bell, and other contemporaries did.

More: Where is College GameDay this week?

It’s not about what Walker can’t do or what he hasn’t done yet. Instead, it’s a look at how Wake Forest moved over the course of the first half of the season, as he became one of the best running players in the nation.

Walker is currently #1 in the Big Ten, 2nd in the NCAA at 997 yards and 5th in the conference in acceleration in touchdowns with a nine. He also collected four games with a dash over 120 yards, including two games with a dash over 200 yards.

more: Watch Michigan vs. Michigan State Live with fuboTV (7 day free trial)

The Spartans are currently 7-0 and No. 8 in the country ahead of a marquee game against No. 6 and fellow 7-0 Michigan opponent, Walker is a big reason for Michigan State’s success.

Here’s everything you need to know about one of the country’s emerging running talents.

Why did Kenneth Walker III move to Michigan?

Walker got his start at Wake Forest, where he spent his first two years playing Dave Clawson.

He put his name on the transfer gate on January 5, 2021 and it took For one day only to announce his next destination. Work has been done well so far Walker has had one of the best transfers in the country in 2021.

Before transportation, the ball Withdrawn From the last two Demon Deacons games of the year in 2020, citing COVID-19 concerns.

MORE: All-America Mid-Season 2021 Team

Much of his decision to go with the Wake Forest and Clawson attack type stemmed from, which Walker felt was limiting.

“At Wake, I felt like I couldn’t showcase all my skills,” Walker said She said. “I think I can be versatile. I can cut. I can run downhill. I think I’m an explosive comeback.”

While Walker felt he needed a change of scenery, the Spartans felt their running game also needed an injection of some life after ranking 13th in the Big Ten in rush yards per game at an average of 2.5 yards per carry last year.

“After last season, I felt we needed someone who was an explosive playmaker,” he said. He told CBS Sports:. “We had a lot of good defenders, but I didn’t feel like we had anyone who could hit their head against the goal post any time they touch the ball.”

How good is Kenneth Walker III in Wake Forest?

Walker wasn’t down for the Demon Deacons during his time in Wake Forest and they were one of the three FBS bands that made him a show.

The other two are Kent State, where he was originally committed, and Arkansas State. The Tennessee native eventually chose Wake Forest and after a relatively quiet but effective 2019 year, it erupted somewhat in 2020.

Bender: Harbaugh’s defining moment has arrived against MSU in the top ten showdown

In just seven games with Wake Forest last season, Walker found the end zone 13 times, which was third in the ACC and tenth nationally and would likely add to those numbers if he doesn’t come out of the team’s last two games.

Finally, in his two years at Wake Forest, Walker carried the ball 217 times for 1,158 yards and 17 touchdowns.

How good is Kenneth Walker III for Michigan?

When Walker arrived in East Lansing, he was shown in front of a crowded, albeit struggling, room to run backwards.

The Spartans ranked 13th out of 14 teams in the conference in rush arenas for each game. They ranked fifth nationally in the number of runs that went 10 yards or more.

They already added one three-star recruit and transfer from Auburn before adding Walker and still have two more scholarships on the list.

MORE: Michigan vs. Michigan State Odds, Trends & Forecasts

But Walker added something completely different.

“If I had to describe myself somehow, I’d say explosive back, explosive,” Walker said in August before the season. Conor Heyward, one of last year’s dashing pioneers for the Spartans went so far as to say every time Walker touches the ball, it’s a “home race.”

The numbers indicate that. Walker had four games with over 120 yards flowing, including two with over 200 yards. He’s also incredibly effective, averaging 6.6 yards per carry, and rarely falters, having gone 338 yards dating back to 2019 without a single flop—the longest current streak in the NCAA.

Michigan State ranked the 122nd best running game nationwide last year — and now it’s 32. Walker’s influence has extended to the passing game as well, with the Spartans ranking 25th nationally in passing efficiency.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *