(WXYZ) — Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III announced on social media Thursday he plans to opt out of the Peach Bowl and prepare for the NFL Draft.
"It has been a true honor to represent Michigan State University and wear the Green and White," Walker wrote. "I am beyond grateful to Coach (Mel) Tucker and the entire staff for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to shine under their leadership."
"I would like to thank God, my family, teammates, fans and all my coaches over the years for helping me become the player and man I am today. I WILL FOREVER BE A SPARTAN DAWG."
Walker was named the Big Ten Running Back of the Year, the Walter Camp Player of the Year, and won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back.
“I want to congratulate Ken for all of his success and thank him for taking a chance on us,” said Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker. “From the day he set foot on campus in January, he has done nothing but work extremely hard and represent Michigan State University with class. He quickly earned the respect of his teammates and coaches, and they were happy to share in his success and accolades. He is a special player and I’m proud of everything he was able to achieve this season.”
Walker ran for 1,636 yards, second in FBS, and ranked among the nation’s leaders with 19 touchdowns. He had 579 yards rushing in each of his two seasons at Wake Forest and scored 17 touchdowns.
The junior jumped to the top of the Heisman Trophy watch lists after scoring five touchdowns in a win over the Wolverines and finished sixth in the voting last week.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.