Michigan State football’s Kenneth Walker III snubbed from popularity contest

(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

The fact that Michigan State football‘s star running back, Kenneth Walker III, isn’t a finalist for the Heisman Trophy confirms the award is more of a popularity contest than anything.

Walker enjoyed a stellar season with the Spartans amassing 1,646 rushing yards while totaling 19 total touchdowns averaging 6.2 yards per tote.

Just a month ago, Walker had been the odds on favorite to win the award, yet a month later doesn’t get an invite to New York for the ceremony, obviously meaning he has no chance of winning the award.

The Michigan State star isn’t the only player to be snubbed; Alabama’s star linebacker, Will Anderson, also deserved to be in attendance.

The four players chosen for the in-person ceremony are Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, and Michigan edge-rusher Aidan Hutchinson.

Now, of course, it is impossible to satisfy everyone, but having Kenny Pickett there over the likes of Walker and Anderson is just laughable.

You could make a concrete argument that Anderson should be there over Hutchinson.  Anderson compiled 15.5 sacks, a whopping 28.5 tackles for a loss, and 82 total tackles.  In comparison, Hutchinson has tallied 13 sacks, 15.5 tackles for a loss, and 58 total tackles.

The one difference between the two?

Hutchinson is set to enter the NFL Draft and is considered to be a top-five, maybe even the first overall pick, yet Anderson is not eligible for the draft until next season.

It’s unfair and should not play a role in the Heisman Trophy race, but this further supports my notion that it is more about popularity than production.

When it comes to Kenny Pickett, the obvious knock is Pittsburgh’s strength of schedule.  Pittsburgh went 11-2 on the season but lacked a signature victory.  Pickett threw for 4,319 yards, 42 touchdowns to just seven interceptions this past season, but against the likes of New Hampshire, Georgia Tech, Massachusetts, and a rarely poor Clemson team.  Pitt suffered losses to Western Michigan and Miami (FL).

Michigan State football star running back Kenneth Walker III was snubbed from Heisman consideration.

A player like Kenneth Walker put up his equally impressive numbers against far better competition.  Sure, he only totaled 25 yards against Ohio State, but the Spartans fell behind by a large margin nearly right away, limiting Walker to just six carries.

Walker led Michigan State football past archrival Michigan by rushing for 197 yards and five touchdowns, then 146 and a score over Purdue, followed by 143 and two touchdowns over Maryland.  In Michigan States’ most recent game against Penn State, Walker totaled 138 yards on 30 carries in a snow storm.

What I am saying is, don’t fret about Walker not being invited to the Heisman ceremony, we all know he deserves to be invited to New York but unfortunately isn’t a quarterback or top-five pick, and sadly that is what the award is more about in 2021.

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For the record, I expect Bryce Young to win the award.