Four Mountain West Running Backs Named to Doak Walker Award Watchlist
Izzy Matthews, Alexander Mattison, Kelton Moore and Lexington Thomas are in the preseason conversation about the nation’s top running back.
Will the MWC get any respect from Walker voters this year?
Watchlist season continues this morning with the unveiling of the Doak Walker Award watchlist. Given annually to the nation’s best running back (which somehow wasn’t Rashaad Penny last year), there are four names to watch from the Mountain West on this year’s preseason list.
UNLV’s Lexington Thomas, the conference’s leading returning rusher, headlines the quartet after running for 1,336 yards, at 6.3 yards per carry, and 17 touchdowns. He’s expected to once again lead the Rebels’ deep and explosive running game as they chase down an elusive bowl bid.
Boise State’s Alexander Mattison got off to a slow start in 2017 but finished the year strong, finishing fifth overall in the Mountain West with 1,086 yards and 12 touchdowns. If he can play at his pace from last November, when he averaged 6.1 YPC and scored six times in four games, Mattison could be in for a special year.
Nevada’s Kelton Moore might be the biggest surprise in the group, but he won’t be overlooked anymore after finishing with 1,044 all-purpose yards and five total touchdowns in 2017.
Lastly, Colorado State’s Izzy Matthews might be ready for his biggest year yet after sharing the workload in Fort Collins last fall. He ran for 613 yards and eight touchdowns, but he’ll probably be in line for more carries following Dalyn Dawkins’s departure.
Last year’s Doak Walker winner was Stanford running back Bryce Love.