Michigan State Running Back Kenneth Walker III is the 2021 Walter Camp Player of Year

Michigan State junior running back Kenneth Walker III (Arlington, TN) has been selected as the 2021 Walter Camp Player of Year.  The award was announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards show. The Walter Camp Player of Year is voted on by the nation’s 130 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors.    

Other finalists for the 2021 Walter Camp Player of Year award included quarterbacks Bryce Young (Alabama) and Kenny Pickett (Pittsburgh) along with defensive players Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan) and Jordan Davis (Georgia).

Walker is the first Michigan State player to win the prestigious honor.  He is the 25th running back to earn the award, and the first since Derrick Henry (Alabama) in 2015.   Walker is also the 11th player from a Big Ten school to win the award since it began in 1967. 

The Big Ten Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year winner, Walker was named a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection. Walker ranks second in the nation and first among Power Five players at 1,636 rushing yards and 136.3 yards per game, and his 18 rushing touchdowns are eighth in the Football Bowl Subdivision

He has led the nation in rushing for all but three weeks this fall and leads the FBS in rushing yards after contact (1,154) and carries of 20-or-more yards (21).  Walker has posted eight 100-yard rushing efforts, including a season-high 264 in a victory over Northwestern on September 3.  He also scored a season-high five touchdowns in a win over Big Ten-rival Michigan on Oct. 30 and earned Walter Camp National Offensive Player of Week honors.

Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.

The Walter Camp Football Foundation is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients.

Walter Camp Players of the Year

2021 – Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State

2020 – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

2019 – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

2018 – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

2017 – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

2016 – Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville 

2015 – Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama

2014 – Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

2013 – Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

2012 – Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame

2011 – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

2010 – Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

2009 – Colt McCoy, QB, Texas

2008 – Colt McCoy, QB, Texas

2007 – Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas

2006 – Troy Smith, QB, Ohio State

2005 – Reggie Bush, RB, USC

2004 – Matt Leinart, QB, USC

2003 – Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Pittsburgh

2002 – Larry Johnson, RB, Penn State

2001 – Eric Crouch, QB, Nebraska

2000 – Josh Heupel, QB, Oklahoma

1999 – Ron Dayne, RB, Wisconsin

1998 – Ricky Williams, RB, Texas

1997 – Charles Woodson, DB, Michigan

1996 – Danny Wuerffel, QB, Florida

1995 – Eddie George, RB, Ohio State

1994 – Rashaan Salaam, RB, Colorado

1993 – Charlie Ward, QB, Florida State

1992 – Gino Torretta, QB, Miami

1991 – Desmond Howard, WR, Michigan

1990 – Raghib Ismail, WR, Notre Dame

1989 – Anthony Thompson, RB, Indiana

1988 – Barry Sanders, RB, Oklahoma State

1987 – Tim Brown, WR, Notre Dame

1986 – Vinny Testaverde, QB, Miami

1985 – Bo Jackson, RB, Auburn

1984 – Doug Flutie, QB, Boston College

1983 – Mike Rozier, RB, Nebraska

1982 – Herschel Walker, RB, Georgia

1981 – Marcus Allen, RB, USC

1980 – Hugh Green, DE, Pittsburgh

1979 – Charles White, RB, USC

1978 – Billy Sims, RB, Oklahoma

1977 – Ken MacAfee, TE, Notre Dame

1976 – Tony Dorsett, RB, Pittsburgh

1975 – Archie Griffin, RB, Ohio State

1974 – Archie Griffin, RB, Ohio State

1973 – John Cappelletti, RB, Penn State

1972 – Johnny Rodgers, RB, Nebraska

1971 – Pat Sullivan, QB, Auburn

1970 – Jim Plunkett, QB, Stanford

1969 – Steve Owens, RB, Oklahoma

1968 – O.J. Simpson, RB, USC

1967 – O.J. Simpson, RB, USC