Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III had a massive rookie campaign but just narrowly missed out on winning Offensive Rookie of the Year to New York Jets wideout Garrett Wilson. While Walker did believe he had a legitimate case for capturing the prestigious award, he also didn't shy away from giving Wilson his flowers.
“I thought I was going to win it,” said Walker. “But Garrett Wilson is a great player though, so let's not take it from him. But yeah. Kind of frustrated, but it happens. I can't make those decisions, so I've just got to come out here and do my best and get better.”
Walker finished with the year with 1,050 yards rushing for an average of 4.4 yards per carry, including nine touchdowns. After Rashaad Penny's season-ending injury, the former Michigan State standout stepped up in a major way and played a key part in getting the Seahawks back to the playoffs alongside Geno Smith.
The RB actually received more first-place votes than Wilson, yet didn't win ROTY. However, that's clearly just motivation for Kenneth Walker III to be that much better in 2023 after Seattle added some very intriguing pieces to their roster on both sides of the ball, including a viable backup in Zach Charbonnet out of UCLA.
In fact, Walker is aiming to serve as a mentor to Charbonnet and Kenny McIntosh, who will be hoping to get some touches in Pete Carroll's backfield:
“It feels good,” said Walker. “I just hope I can be a mentor to the running backs that are younger than me. Like Shad (Rashaad Penny) was to me. So I just hope I can guide those guys in the right direction.”
Exciting times are ahead for the organization and perhaps an even bigger season is in sight for Walker.