COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sophomore running back J.K. Dobbins was named today to the Doak Walker Award Watch List, given annually to college football’s best running back. It’s the second watch list this week for Dobbins, who on Monday earned a spot on the Maxwell Award list.
Dobbins is coming off the best season statistically of any freshmen running back in Ohio State history. An ESPN Freshman All-American and second team All-Big Ten selection, he rushed for 1,403 yards and scored seven touchdowns. In the Big Ten Championship Game against Wisconsin’s No. 1-ranked rushing defense, he ran for 174 yards to earn the game’s Most Outstanding Player honors.
A 14-game starter in 2017, Dobbins’ numbers stacked up favorably against the best in the Big Ten and nationally. His 7.2 yards per carry was No. 7 in the nation and tops amongst freshmen while his 100.2 yards per game average ranked second in the Big Ten. He began his career by setting the Ohio State single-game freshmen rushing record, racking up 181 yards in his debut at Indiana. Dobbins rushed for 100 or more yards six times and led the team with 16 plays from scrimmage of 20 yards or more.
The award is named for SMU’s three-time All-American running back Doak Walker. It is the only major collegiate award that requires all candidates to be in good academic standing and on schedule to graduate within one year of other students of the same classification. The last Buckeye to take home the honor was Eddie George in 1995.