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BREAKING: Kenneth Walker not among Heisman Trophy finalists

The "K9 for Heisman" campaign is officially over after Walker was not included amongst four finalists for college football's most prestigious award

It's been trending this way for some time, and not it's official: Michigan State's Kenneth Walker III will not be in New York City as a Heisman Trophy finalist.

After voters submitted their ballots this past weekend, four finalists were announced Monday evening: Alabama's Bryce Young, Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett, Ohio State's CJ Stroud and Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson.

It's a disappointing result for Walker, who has been the nation's top tailback this season and whom many considered to be the frontrunner for the Heisman entering a Top 10 matchup with Ohio State in Week 12.

However, Walker was limited to just six carries for 25 yards against the Buckeyes in a brutal 56-7 loss in Columbus. Following the game, Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker confirmed that Walker was dealing with an injury that week that limited his availability against Ohio State.

Despite those circumstances outside of his control, Walker wasn't able to overcome the negative perception surrounding his virtual "no-show" against the Buckeyes, even with a solid outing against Penn State the following week.

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Walker finished the regular season with 1,636 rushing yards -- the second-most in the nation -- on 263 carries with 18 rushing touchdowns.

The transfer from Wake Forest cemented his place among the Spartan greats in Week 9, when he rushed for 197 yards and five touchdowns on 23 carries in a 37-33 win over rival Michigan.

Young, the sophomore quarterback for the Crimson Tide, is considered the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. In the SEC Championship game, Young dazzled and awed onlookers with 421 passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns against Georgia's vaunted defense. The quarterback also had 40 rushing yards on 3 carries with a touchdown.

The Heisman case for Hutchinson, a senior defensive end, has surged in recent weeks with his play -- including a three-sack game in a win against Ohio State which helped send the Wolverines to the Big Ten Championship game. The Michigan captain has 14 sacks on the season and is the unquestioned heart and soul of the Big Ten champion Wolverines.

Michigan State will get an up-close look at Pickett, the quarterback from Pittsburgh, when the Spartans and Panthers collide in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 30th. In the ACC Championship game against Wake Forest, Pickett threw for 253 yards and 2 touchdown passes, while adding 20 rushing yards on 6 carries with another touchdown.