Michigan State football RB Kenneth Walker III is a Heisman Trophy sleeper

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Michigan State football junior running back Kenneth Walker III has been making a name for himself.

And college football betters are taking notice.

Walker's Heisman Trophy odds are up to 40-to-1 after three games (for every $1 bet, you'd profit $40 if he wins). The Wake Forest transfer rushed for 172 yards on 27 carries (6.4 yards per carry) in the Spartans' thrilling 38-17 upset at Miami on Saturday.

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Michigan State Spartans running back Kenneth Walker III celebrates their victory with fans after the game at Ryan Field. The Michigan State Spartans won 38-21 on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021.
Michigan State Spartans running back Kenneth Walker III celebrates their victory with fans after the game at Ryan Field. The Michigan State Spartans won 38-21 on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021.

Walker, who rushed for 1,158 yards and 17 touchdowns on 217 carries in 20 games during two seasons with the Demon Deacons, was the Big Ten Conference offensive player of the week after Week 1, after his superb debut of 264 rushing yards and four touchdowns at Northwestern. He is the Football Bowl Subdivision's leading rusher at 493 yards, 72 more yards than any other player. He is averaging 8.6 yards per carry on 57 attempts with five touchdowns, and has three catches for 17 yards and a score.

Our Michigan State beat writer Chris Solari wrote a piece for subscribers Monday how Walker is an bigger part of MSU's success than you think. (If you're not yet a Free Press subscriber, we have a great $1 deal for six months, which gives you access to all of our most exclusive stories.)

This week, the Spartans (3-0, 1-0 Big Ten) moved into the USA TODAY Coaches Poll rankings for the first time in two years, coming in at No. 21. They host Nebraska this Saturday (7 p.m.).

Walker's Heisman odds are tied for 11th. Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral is the betting favorite, followed by Alabama quarterback Bryce Young.

Heisman Trophy odds, per SportsBetting.AG

Matt Corral, Ole Miss: 7-4 (+175)

Bryce Young, Alabama: 3-1 (+300)

Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma: 10-1

CJ Stroud, OSU: 16-1

CJ Verdell, Oregon: 16-1

Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati: 16-1

JT Daniels, Georgia: 18-1

Malik Willis, Liberty: 20-1

Sam Howell, UNC: 20-1

TreVeyon Henderson, OSU: 33-1

Bijan Robinson, Texas: 40-1

D.J. Uiagalelei, Clemson: 40-1

Kenneth Walker III, MSU: 40-1

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan State football's Kenneth Walker a Heisman sleeper