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Michigan State Football: 5 Greatest Running Backs in Spartans History

Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State Spartans

Kenneth Walker III is part of a program with many wonderful running backs

Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III scored five touchdowns in a 37-33 win over Michigan on Oct. 30. Walker is the first Spartans running back since Jeremy Langford to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season.

Could Walker be one of the five best running backs in Michigan State history? If he stays for his senior year, potentially. However, he's got some esteemed company ahead of him. Tico Duckett has more than 4,200 career rushing yards, and he is not on this list. Neither is Le'Veon Bell, who rushed for 1,793 yards in 2012. Even Eric Allen's record 350 yards against Purdue in 1971 were not enough to make the cut. With that in mind, here are Michigan State's all-time five greatest running backs.

5. Clinton Jones (1964-66)

While Jones' 2,034 career yards are not even among the 10 best in program history, they were a key factor in the Spartans winning back-to-back Big Ten titles in 1965 and 1966. He also rushed for 268 yards against Iowa in 1966.

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4. T.J. Duckett (1999-2001)

Duckett averaged over five yards a carry in each of his three seasons in East Lansing and finished his career with 3,379 yards. The 250-pound back could have potentially been Michigan State's all-time leading rusher had he not declared for the NFL draft after his junior season, where the Atlanta Falcons took him with the 18th overall pick.

3. Jeremy Langford (2011-15)

After backing up Le'Veon Bell in 2012, Langford got starting duties as a redshirt junior in 2013. In his last two seasons, he averaged 5.2 yards a carry as the Spartans went 24-3 and won the Big Ten in 2013. Langford also finished his career with a program-record 16 consecutive 100-yard rushing games.

2. Javon Ringer (2005-08)

Ringer became the featured back in 2007 and had two monster seasons, rushing for more than 3,000 yards. In 2008, he led college football with 22 touchdowns and earned consensus All-American honors. Ringer also is Michigan State's all-time leader with 5,426 all-purpose yards.

1. Lorenzo White (1984-87)

The Spartans' all-time rushing leader became the first back in Big Ten history to run for more than 2,000 yards in a single season when he amassed 2,066 in 1985. White also rushed for 1,572 yards in 1987 as Michigan State won the Big Ten title and beat USC in the Rose Bowl.

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.