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MSU faces uphill climb after losing star Kenneth Walker III to NFL

The Spartans star running back from a year ago was selected by the Seahawks in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Credit: AP
Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III rushes during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Maryland, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

INDIANAPOLIS — Michigan State is fresh off of a remarkable 11-2 finish in 2021, where the Spartans capped off the season with a Peach Bowl victory over Pitt.

However, Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker and the Spartans have a problem ahead of the 2022 season – the team needs to find a replacement for Kenneth Walker III.

The Spartans star running back from a year ago was selected by the Seahawks in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

In his lone year in East Lansing after transferring from Wake Forest, Walker burst onto the scene. The second round pick piled up over 1,600 rushing yards and finished with 19 total touchdowns. 

Tucker knows Kenneth Walkers do not just go on trees. He isn’t trying to replace Walker with another carbon cut copy of Walker. He just wants whoever will play running back to be a good fit culturally.

“To find another Ken Walker, are you going to find another Ken Walker in the portal,” Tucker said. “Probably not. Those guys don’t pop in the portal every year. He was the best running back in college football probably. The pressure is to be thorough in our due diligence and make sure we are doing a great job of identifying and evaluating and going after the right guys. The guys that fit our program.”

Walker signed his rookie contract with the Seahawks on Tuesday as he begins training camp in Seattle.

However, the Spartans are focused on who is on the current roster and for Game 1 of 2022. Michigan State opens up the season at home on September 2 against Western Michigan.

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