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Penn State Football: Belton And Zwinak Both Named To Doak Walker Watch List

by on July 17, 2014 2:00 PM

Penn State running backs Bill Belton and Zach Zwinak are among the 53 players on the preseason Doak Walker Award watch list.

The award is given to the best ball carrier in the nation.

In an interesting twist Penn State is one of seven school’s with multiple candidates on the Walker watch list.

The award has been given annually since 1989 with Penn Stater and first-team All-American Larry Johnson bringing home the honors in 2002.

Last year, Belton finished second on the team with 1,036 all-purpose yards, including 803 rushing yards on 157 carries. Belton also became the first Nittany Lion to eclipse the 200-yard rushing mark in a game since 2002 (Larry Johnson vs. Michigan State) with 201 yards in the win over Illinois.

As for Belton's partner in crime, Zwinak led the squad with 989 rushing yards a year ago, just 11 yards shy of his second-straight 1,000-yard season. Zwinak also racked up 12 rushing touchdowns last season, which is the most for a Penn State running back since Evan Royster (12) in 2008. His 12 rushing TDs are tied for ninth in PSU single-season history. Zwinak ranked ninth in the Big Ten in overall rushing yardage (82.4 ypg), tied for seventh in touchdowns and eighth in rushing yards in conference games (86.5).

For his career, Zwinak is 18th on Penn State’s career rushing list with 1,996 yards and has the opportunity to join the elite list of six Nittany Lions with 3,000 career rushing yards. After posting five 100-yard rushing performances in 2013, Zwinak is now tied with D.J. Dozier for 10th place on Penn State’s career chart with 11 career 100-yard games.

Penn State now has eight players on eight different preseason watch lists: Bill Belton  (Walker Award - Nation's Top Running Back), Kyle Carter (Mackey Award - Nation's Top Tight End), Christian Hackenberg (Maxwell Award - College Football MVP, O'Brien Award - Nation's Top Quarterback), Mike Hull (Butkus - Nation's Top Linebacker), Jesse James (Mackey Award - Nation's Top Tight End), Jordan Lucas (Bednarik - Defensive Player of the Year, Thorpe - Nation's Top Defensive Back), Donovan Smith (Outland Trophy - Nation's Top Interior Lineman) and Zach Zwinak (Walker Award - Nation's Top Running Back).

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