The Doak Walker Award’s selection committee announced on Wednesday that three Penn State football players are in contention for the trophy annually presented to the nation’s top running back.
Noah Cain, Keyvone Lee and John Lovett all appeared on the award’s watch list, giving the Nittany Lions more candidates than any other school.
The award, first presented in 1990, is named after former SMU running back Doak Walker. Larry Johnson is the only Nittany Lion to win the award, receiving the honor in 2002.
After missing essentially the entire 2020 season due to an undisclosed injury, Cain is primed to lead a deep and impressive Penn State running back room. The Baton Rouge native rushed for 443 yards and eight touchdowns as a freshman in 2019.
Lee, the second Nittany Lion on the list, is coming off an impressive freshman year of his own. After being thrust atop Penn State’s depth chart following some key injuries, the 220-pound back led the team with 438 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.
Lovett, a veteran rusher and transfer from Baylor, seems to be primed for a strong 2021 season, too. He gained more than 1,800 yards during his four years as a Bear and punched in 18 scores.
Penn State’s impressive showing on the award’s watch list is just the latest tidbit in a string of good news for the LawnBoyz. Commitments from blue-chip prospects like Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen have helped give the Nittany Lions the second-best recruiting class for 2022.