The past is the past, but this Michigan State football season proves that Kenneth Walker III was robbed in 2021.
When I sat down to watch NFL Redzone on Sunday afternoon (my usual routine after a depressing Saturday of watching MSU), I watched as Kenneth Walker III took over for an injured Rashaad Penny and sprinted for a 69-yard touchdown against the Saints.
As he changed direction the second he took the handoff from Geno Smith and sprinted past defenders for a 69-yard score, it hit me: this dude was robbed.
OK, well maybe it hit me even more last year when he was the nation’s best running back or even this season in the middle of a four-game losing skid. Heck, it hit me hard on Saturday against Ohio State when the Spartans mustered just seven rushing yards.
But it still hit me.
Walker led a team that probably shouldn’t have won 10-plus games to an 10-win regular season and Peach Bowl berth. He took so much pressure off of Payton Thorne and defenses had a tough time game-planning for the Spartan offense because of him.
Oh, and flea-flickers were much more effective.
Still, one off-game against Ohio State in which he played just the first quarter and was nicked up was seemingly the difference in the Heisman race.
The one-time leader for the award after a five-touchdown performance in a win over Michigan didn’t even receive an invite to New York for the Heisman ceremony.
It was criminal.
And look, I hate living in the past or even recounting things that don’t matter anymore, but based on the state of the current team (2-4 and on a four-game losing skid), it’s clear that Walker was that dude. He deserved more love and the fact that he didn’t get a Heisman invite was highway robbery.
I think we’re all really seeing just how special Walker was (even more so than we thought last year) as the Spartans are seemingly void of depth and talent through six games.
Walker masked so many issues and put Michigan State on his back.
It’s going to be fun to watch him grow in the NFL.