Jayden Reed, Kenneth Walker III named AFCA All-Americans first team

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EAST LANSING, Michigan – Michigan State landed two players on the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) First Team on Wednesday as junior redshirts Jayden roseau took top honors as a versatile player and Kenneth walker iii got one of the two spots at the running back.

With recognition from the AFCA, Walker becomes MSU’s first unanimous All-American since 2013 cornerback Darqueze Dennard. Walker was also named to the All-American First Team by the Associated Press and Sporting News more earlier this week, in addition to applause from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Walter Camp Foundation, ESPN.com, CBS Sports, Pro Football Focus and The Athletic last week.

JAYDEN ROSEAU
Jayden roseau leads the team with 53 catches for 946 yards (17.9 average) and eight touchdowns. He was named one of five finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, awarded annually by the Louisville Sports Commission to the nation’s most versatile player.

Reed, who was also named to the Associated Press first-team All-Big Ten as a versatile player, ranks among the Big Ten and FBS leaders in general-purpose yards (second in Big Ten and 17th in FBS, 130 , 8 YPG), yards per catch (second and 31st, 17.9 average), touchdown catches (fourth and 37th with eight) and receiving yards (fifth and 39th with 78.8 yards per game). His 18.5 yards per play ranks sixth in the FBS (946 receiving yards, 376 kick returns, 213 punt returns, 34 rushing for a total of 1,569 yards on 85 total plays. )

He’s also tied for the FBS lead with two punt returns for touchdowns (62 yards vs. Nebraska, 88 yards vs. Western Kentucky). Although he did not qualify due to minimal stats in the NCAA stats (1.2 returns per game), Reed would rank first in the country in punt returns with his 21 average. 3 and is tied for the lead with two punt returns for touchdowns.

Reed has scored a total of 11 touchdowns this season (eighth reception, two punt returns, one rushing), good for the 10th tallest in the Big Ten, and led Michigan State with 30 plays over 20 yards. (18 assists, 9 kicking returns, 3 punt returns), including 8 touchdowns over 20 yards: 88-yard punt return against Western Kentucky (fourth longest punt return in the history of the school); 85-yard pass against Youngstown State; pass 75 yards against Youngtown State; 62-yard punt return against Nebraska; passing 46 yards against Western Kentucky; pass 35 yards against Nebraska; passing 29 yards against Maryland; 20-yard pass against Penn State.

Reed left the Ohio State game on November 20 in the first half with an injury and did not play in the second half against the Buckeyes, but the following week against Penn State in constant snow the entire game. , Reed won in the clutch with six catches for 89 yards to help MSU secure a victory over the Nittany Lions, giving MSU 10 wins this season. With MSU up 23-20 at the end of the fourth quarter, the Spartans faced a fourth and 15 from the PSU’s 20-yard line. Reed got on and caught a 20-yard TD on the fourth down, placing MSU in the lead 30-20 in the 30-27 final victory.

Reed was recognized on the Paul Hornung Award honor roll for the fourth time this season for his performance in the 40-21 victory over Maryland on November 13. He led all players of the game with 210 versatile yards, including eight catches. for 114 yards and two touchdowns (29 yards in the first quarter, 3 yards in the third quarter). It was Reed’s eighth career 100-yard receiving game (four at Western Michigan in 2018; one at MSU in 2020; three at MSU in 2021). Reed also recorded four returns for 96 yards, including a 39-yard game on the last play of the first quarter.

On October 30, with MSU behind Michigan 30-14, and with less than five minutes to play in the third quarter, the Spartans faced a fourth and 4 from MU 29. Reed caught a 28-yard pass to the 1 – yard line, setting up Kenneth Walker’s 1-yard TD, triggering MSU’s 37-33 comeback victory over Wolverines. Reed also caught a 2-point conversion that tied the game at 30 against Michigan. Reed had six catches for 80 yards in the game.

Reed was named to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll for the third time this fall after collecting 285 all-purpose yards, a career-high (127 receptions, 88 punt returns, 63 punt returns, 7 rushing ), the seventh biggest game in a single game. total in school history, in the victory over Western Kentucky on October 2. Reed scored the first time he touched the ball against the Hilltoppers with an 88-yard punt return, scoring his second consecutive punt return for a touchdown (62 yards vs. Nebraska in the fourth quarter). He also got his second 100-yard receiving effort of the season with four catches for 127 yards against WKU, including a 46-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

Reed was named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week on September 27; he was also recognized on the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll for the second time this season (Week 2 against Youngstown State). With MSU down 20-13 to Nebraska late in the fourth quarter, Reed returned a 62-yard punt for a touchdown to tie the game with 3:47 remaining, setting the stage for an overtime victory over the Huskers. . It was MSU’s first punt return for a touchdown since November 26, 2011 (Keshawn Martin 57 yards at Northwestern). Reed finished the game with 192 versatile yards (69 punt returns, 62 punt returns, 59 receptions, 2 rushes). His 41-yard second-quarter kick return got MSU to score on the field. He also caught four passes for 59 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown by Thorne in the second quarter.

In Week 2, Reed caught four assists for a career-high 181 yards against Youngstown State; two of those catches totaled 160 yards in the first half alone (75 touchdown yards in the first game of the game; 85 touchdown yards in the second quarter). He also had 264 versatile yards (181 receiving, 32 punt returns, 48 ​​punt returns) against YSU.

KENNETH WALKER III
Last Thursday, Kenneth walker iii became the first Michigan state player to win the Walter Camp Player of the Year and the Doak Walker Award. He finished sixth in the overall vote for the Heisman Trophy, the best performance for a Spartan since 1988.

Walker, who was also one of three finalists for the Maxwell Award, is currently second in the FBS with 1,636 rushing yards (136.3 yards per game). He leads the FBS in rushing yards after contact (1,168), runs over 20 yards (21) and forced tackles missed (89), and also ranks among the nation’s leaders in runs over. 10 yards (tied for second with 46), scrum yards (sixth with 143.8 yards per game), all-purpose yards (seventh with 143.8 yards per game), total touchdowns (tied for seventh with 19 ), rushing touchdowns (eighth with 18) and yards per carry (14th with 6.2 on average).

Walker was named the Big Ten Running Back of the Year two weeks ago by the conference and also became the first Spartan running back to win First-Team All-Big Ten honors since Le’Veon Bell in 2012. Walker is also the first Spartan RB to win First Team All-America honors since Bell (2012).

In 12 regular season games, Walker has amassed 1,636 rushing yards, the fourth most by a Spartan in a single season in school history. Walker was the fastest Spartan to reach 1,000 yards in a single season in terms of carries (153 carries). Additionally, his 18 rushing touchdowns are tied for fifth in an MSU season and his 19 total touchdowns (a receiving score) are tied for fourth.

Walker has eight 100-yard rushing games this season, including two 200-yard games (264 against Northwestern on September 3; 172 in Miami on September 18; 126 against Western Kentucky on September 25; 233 at Rutgers on October 9; 197 against Michigan on October 30; 136 at Purdue on November 6; 143 against Maryland on November 13; 138 against Penn State on November 27).

After a record-breaking performance in the 37-33 victory over No.6 Michigan on October 30, Walker III took home several honors, including National Offensive Player of the Week (Walter Camp Football Foundation, Maxwell Award, The Athletic) and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week. Walker rushed for five touchdowns, the most ever for a player against the Wolverines, and finished with a total of 197 yards on just 23 carries (8.6 on average). His scores came on runs of 27 and 8 yards in the second quarter, 1 yard in the third quarter and 58 and 23 yards in the fourth quarter. He also had 208 versatile yards (197 rushing, 11 receiving). The five TDs were tied for second in school history (record: six by Blake Ezor against Northwestern in 1989; five by Javon Ringer against Eastern Michigan in 2008).

Walker’s 94-yard touchdown run in the third quarter at Rutgers was the longest run in Michigan state’s 125-year football history, improving a 90-yard dash by Lynn Chandnois against Arizona in 1949. It was also the longest offensive scrimmage play in school history, surpassing Tony Banks‘ 93-yard pass to Nigea Carter against Indiana in 1994. Walker finished with 29 carries for 233 yards against the Scarlet Knights .

Walker had a record breaking debut as a Spartan, rushing for a career-high 264 yards – the seventh-highest total in school history – while scoring a career-high four touchdowns to lead the Spartans outside Northwestern on September 3. the most rushed yards by a Spartan in a first game wearing the green and white. Walker became only the second Spartan to record more than 250 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the same game (Eric Allen, school record 350 yards and four touchdowns against Purdue on October 30, 1971).

The No.10 Michigan State (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten) will face No.12 Pittsburgh (11-2, 7-1 ACC) at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Thursday, December 30 at 7 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. The game will be televised on ESPN as part of the New Years Six.

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