The Doak Walker Award, given annually to college football's best running back, has released its 52-man, preseason watch list. Seven backs from the Big 12 made the cut. Here they are:
John Hubert, Kansas State
Waymon James, TCU
Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State
Jarred Salubi, Baylor
Eric Stephens, Texas Tech
Matthew Tucker, TCU
James White, Iowa State
A bit crazy that seven backs made the list and preseason All-Big 12 selection Malcolm Brown gets left off, no?
The Longhorns back is one of three in Texas' backfield who should be stellar, so yes, he may have to split carries and doesn't have a great shot to win the award. However, Baylor's Salubi gets a nod after running for a mammoth 331 yards last season, and Brown gets snubbed after running for 742 yards as a true freshman?
Nuts. Of all the award watch lists (which, yes, are somewhat meaningless but still fun), Brown is the worst Big 12 snub I've seen. Only two running backs who played in the Big 12 in 2011 and are returning to the league in 2012 had more rushing yards last season than Brown.
Good to see Texas Tech's Stephens earn some preseason recognition, despite trying to come back from a serious knee injury suffered in a loss to Texas A&M last season.
Texas' Cedric Benson (2004) was the last Big 12 player to win the Doak Walker Award. Texas' three trophies is the most nationally. Texas Tech is tied for second nationally with two awards. The last came in 1996 when Byron Hanspard won it.
Alabama's Trent Richardson won the award last season.