Mountain West Football: Four Players Named to Doak Walker Award Watch List
Once again, a quartet of running backs from the Mountain West are in the mix to be college football’s top running back.
Can anyone run their way to glory?
Day three of watch list season turned to the Doak Walker Award this morning. Given annually to college football’s best running back, there are four players from the Mountain West on this year’s iteration.
Boise State’s George Holani lands on this list for the third year in a row despite being hampered by injuries in 2021. Though he was limited to nine games, the Broncos running back finished with 569 yards and one touchdown on 119 carries.
Titus Swen played second fiddle to Xazavian Valladay at Wyoming last year, but he earned a nod on this list, as well, after finishing seventh in the Mountain West with 785 yards and seven touchdowns on just 132 carries, the fewest of any player who finished 2021 in the top ten by rushing. According to Pro Football Focus, he also led all qualifying conference running backs with an overall grade of 86.0.
Jordan Mims, like Swen, also spent most of last year at Fresno State in a timeshare. When Ronnie Rivers was slowed by injuries, though, he made the most of the presented opportunities by rushing for 710 yards and catching 25 passes for 324 yards, finding the end zone ten times in all.
Utah State’s Calvin Tyler Jr. proved he could be a force when healthy last year, leading the Aggies with 911 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. That included four different 100-yard performances, including a career-high 132 yards against Air Force and 120 in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl victory over Oregon State.
One surprising omission from the group? Air Force’s Brad Roberts, the Mountain West’s rushing champion last season. He shouldered a heavy load for the Falcons with 297 carries, the most among running back in the conference since 2018, but ran for 1,357 yards and 13 touchdowns while helping the team win ten games.
Last year’s Doak Walker Award winner was Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III.