The Doak Walker Award announced its watch list of candidates. This award goes to the top running back in college football. The Big 12 found six players included in that list.
- Darius Anderson – TCU
- Rodney Anderson – OU
- Alex Barnes – KSU
- Justice Hill – OSU
- David Montgomery – ISU
- Da’Leon Ward – TTU
The one player that stands out the most on this list is the Red Raiders own Da’Leon Ward. Rodney Anderson, Justice Hill, and David Montgomery are all preseason All-Big 12 and are no surprise to be found on this list. The other two running backs Darius Anderson and Alex Barnes are returning starters from last season. However, Ward took all of last year off and focused on academics.
Ward did have a strong spring and is expected to push for the starting role although there is plenty of competition with the top rusher from last season in Tre King. Also, two incoming freshmen SaRodorick Thompson and Ta’Zhawn Henry look to make an impact in the backfield this season. Seeing Ward on this watch list indicates to me that the coaching staff seems to think he will be the starting running back at the start of the season.
Frankly, it is a surprise to most people to see him on this list. However, it speaks to his vast potential and the flashes that were displayed two seasons ago. Maybe this will turn out to be prophetic of a great season for both Ward and the Red Raiders.