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Kenneth Walker explains reasoning behind transfer to Michigan State

20200517_134556by:Justin Rudolph10/23/21

Junior Kenneth Walker is enjoying the best season of his college career with the Michigan State Spartans. But the five-foot-10 running back out of Arlington, TN did not start his career with the Spartans. And during an interview with Joel Klatt on Breaking the Huddle, Walker opened up on what brought him to Michigan State. 

Michigan State Walker has taken over as the team’s primary running option. And as the head running back, he is putting on a show on the ground. Walker leads college football in total rushing yards with 997 on the year. His nine rushing touchdowns have him tied for 10th on the year. And he is averaging a career-best 6.56 yards per carry, Which is third-best in the big 10 and 12 in the nation. 

What brought him to Michigan State

For Walker, it wasn’t the glitz and glamour then brought him to Michigan State. For him, it was head coach Mel Tucker and what he is currently doing with the program. 

“I did a virtual tour with coach Kap (Chris Kapilovic) and they showed me the offense and how things work here,” said Walker.  “After that talk, I ended up talking to coach Tuck (Mel Tucker), and I love the pic she gave about the culture he’s building here, and things like that. I was very interested in that. I felt like this was the best place for me.” 

Chris Kapilovic takes care of a lot of responsibilities for the Michigan State football program. He is their assistant head coach, offensive line coach, and run game coordinator. This offseason, Kapilovic assisted in what appears to be the best move made heading into the season, helping to convince Walker to come to their program. He set it up and, coach Tucker knocked it out of the park for the Spartans. 

Coach Tucker is turning things around

Coach Tucker has helped turn the program around and has done it faster than expected. Before he got there, the Spartans were led by coach Mark Dantonio for 13 seasons. In the early part of the 2010 decade, Michigan State was a powerhouse program of the big 10. the highlight of his tenure there is between his 2013 and 2015 seasons. In 2013 the Spartans finished ranked third in the nation and went undefeated in the big 10. And in 2015 they made their only appearance in the College Football Playoffs but were shut out by Alabama in the semifinals 38-0. But in his last few years there, the Spartans struggled throughout the regular season against other big-name programs, like Ohio State and Michigan. 

Tucker’s first year at Michigan State was last season. The Spartans finished the 2-5 in a season shortened by COVID. This year they are off to a 7-0 start thanks to Walker’s play in the backfield. With Walker’s running ability, Michigan State has found itself in the running for a potential playoff berth. And with the culture tuckers building, they could find themselves in the running for years to come.