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Penn State Football: Barkley Named To Doak Walker Award Watch List

by on July 14, 2016 10:35 AM

Penn State sophomore running back Saquon Barkley is one of the best in the nation and the Doak Walker Award has taken notice, naming Barkley to its preseason watch list on Thursday. The honor marks the second watch list that the 1,000 rusher has been named to so far this offseason with the Maxwell Award also keeping an eye on Barkley. The Maxwell Award is given to the National Player of the Year.

Penn State’s lone Doak Walker Award winner was Larry Johnson in 2002. Ki-Jana Carter and Curtis Enis were finalists for the award in 1994 and 1997, respectively.

The Doak Walker Award was created in 1989 to recognize the nation’s premier running back for his accomplishments on the field, achievement in the classroom and citizenship in the community. It is the only major collegiate football award that requires all candidates to be on schedule to graduate within one year of other students of the same classification. The award is presented annually by the SMU Athletic Forum.

This past season Barkley broke the Penn State freshman (true or redshirt) record with 1,076 yards, surpassing the mark set by D.J. Dozier (1,002) in 1983. Barkley’s 1,076 yards place him 16th on Penn State’s season rushing chart and 40th in program history in career rushing yards. Barkley scored seven rushing touchdowns (eight overall) to tie Dozier’s record for rushing scores by a freshman and had five 100-yard rushing games to equal Dozier’s rookie mark.

He finished 34th in FBS and third in the Big Ten with 97.8 rushing yards per game, which was skewed by having just one career in the season opener versus Temple and missing nearly three quarters in the San Diego State game. Barkley also ranked 34th in FBS and fourth in the Big Ten in yards per carry (5.9) and was second among true freshmen running backs.

In addition to Barkley, the following Nittany Lions have made watch lists so far this offseason: J

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  • wide receiver Chris Godwin is on the Biletnikoff Award (nation’s top receiver) and Maxwell Award lists. 
  • Linebacker Jason Cabinda has made his way onto a trio of watch lists – Bednarik Award (nation’s top defensive player, Lott IMPACT Trophy (nation’s top defensive player on and off the field), Butkus Award (top linebacker). 
  • Mike Gesicki was named to the John Mackey Award watch list for the nation’s most outstanding collegiate tight end.
  • Nyeem Wartman-White joins Cabinda on the Butkus Award watch list.


Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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