The USC Trojans have placed not one but two running backs on the prestigious Doak Walker Award Watch list, the award that annually is presented to the nation’s top running back. Both Vavae Malepeai and Stephen Carr were named to the 2020 award watch list this preseason.
Carr has recorded over 1,100 career rushing yards and makes a name for himself in the passing game, hauling in 22 passes alone in 2019. He’s a dynamic all-around threat with the ball in his hands and is a danger in the return game as well.
Malepeai ran for 503 yards and six touchdowns last year, all while missing five games in 2019. He had 15 receptions in 2019 and should once again be considered one of the top running backs in the country if he and Carr can stay healthy.
USC has had one player win the Doak Walker Award, and that was, of course, Reggie Bush in 2005.
The Doak Walker Award is given out annually to the top running back in college football and is named in honor of former SMU Mustangs star of the same name. The award requires all candidates to be in good academic standing and on schedule to graduate within one year of students in the eligibility classification as well.
Former Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor won the award in each of the past two seasons as he became just the third person to win consecutive Walker Awards. Wisconsin has the national lead in Doak Walker Award wins with five total.
The most recent representative of the award from the Pac-12 was Stanford’s Bryce Love in 2017 and prior to that was Stanford’s Toby Gerhart in 2009.
The award recipient receives a sculpture of Doak Walker cast in bronze and is handed out during the Home Depot Awards Show at the end of the year, usually the second week of December.