Michigan State Showcases Strong Backfield in Final Spring Practice

Michigan State Showcases Strong Backfield in Final Spring Practice

Michigan State Showcases Strong Backfield in Final Spring Practice

Kenneth Walker III and Elijah Collins headlined a solid Michigan State run game on Saturday afternoon.
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EAST LANSING – Michigan State's run game wasn't the focal point of its final spring practice.

The 6,000 fans who returned to Spartan Stadium saw their team's quarterbacks on full display, throwing multiple touchdowns downfield.

But the rushing attack was there.

The exhibition showcased Kenneth Walker III and Elijah Collins as Michigan State's top two backs, in a new format featuring individual drills, group work, and live scrimmage periods with guys constantly coming in and out.

Even so, it didn't take many carries to realize Walker III, MSU's newest running back, can carry the rock at the next level.

"I'll tell you what, he's a complete player. And I think you can see that today," MSU head coach Mel Tucker said of Walker on Saturday.

The Wake Forest transfer had many runs displaying his vision, speed, lateral quickness, hands, and the ability to fight for extra yardage.

"He (Walker) does an excellent job running the ball and with ball security. He can make guys miss, he runs with power as well, and he does a great job in pass protection," said Tucker. "He knows what to do; he's not afraid to step up in there and pick up the blitz."

Meanwhile, Collins looked more like the player who ran for 988 yards (76.0 ypg) and a team-leading five touchdowns.

In 2020, he fell out of MSU's rotation, but earlier this month, the Detroit native provided an explanation saying he missed a month of practice due to testing positive for COVID-19.

The virus set him back, and Collins added he didn't feel like himself until the latter half of the season.

Now, with a strength and conditioning program plus an entire spring under his belt, Collins appears closer to the top of Michigan State's depth chart.

Connor Heyward, Jordon Simmons, and Donovan Eaglin also received plenty of work in what figures to be another intense competition this fall.

"When you really have a solid rushing attack, then teams have to respect that," Tucker said. "That's built into our offense; I know that's going to be a piece of our offense ... When you've got good backs, and your o-line is playing well, that's going to make it easier in the play-action game."

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EAST LANSING – Michigan State's run game wasn't the focal point of its final spring practice.

The 6,000 fans who returned to Spartan Stadium saw their team's quarterbacks on full display, throwing multiple touchdowns downfield.

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