UK Men's Basketball

Benny Snell, Damien Harris named to Doak Walker watch list

Benny Snell Jr. rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a freshman for Kentucky last year.
Benny Snell Jr. rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a freshman for Kentucky last year.

Benny Snell Jr. of Kentucky and former Madison Southern High School standout Damien Harris of Alabama were among 61 preseason candidates named Thursday for the 2017 Doak Walker Award.

The award annually is given to the nation’s top college running back.

Also named to the list was Western Kentucky redshirt junior D’Andre Ferby.

Snell, a sophomore from Westerville, Ohio, earned a spot on Athlon’s 2017 preseason Southeastern Conference third-team offense after a stellar freshman season. He set six UK freshman records, including most rushing touchdowns in a game (four), most rushing yards (1,091), most rushing touchdowns (13), most total touchdowns (13), most 100-yard rushing games (five) and most rushing yards in a single game (192). He was named a Freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America, ESPN and 247Sports.

Harris, entering his junior year at Alabama, led the national runner-up Crimson Tide in rushing in 2016 with 1,037 yards on 146 carries and scored a pair of rushing touchdowns.

Ferby, from Nashville, missed all of last season after suffering an injury on his first carry of the year. As a freshman in 2015, Ferby rushed for 650 yards on 164 carries with 11 touchdowns.

The award is named for SMU’s three-time All-America running back Doak Walker. It honors the nation’s top back but also requires all candidates be in good academic standing and on schedule to graduate within one year of other students of the same classifications.

2017 Doak Walker Award candidates

Josh Adams (Jr.), Notre Dame

Ryquell Armstead (Jr.), Temple

Kalen Ballage (Sr.), Arizona State

Saquon Barkley (Jr.), Penn State

Alex Barnes (So.), Kansas State

Jamauri Bogan (Jr.), Western Michigan

D’Angelo Brewer (Sr.), Tulsa

Nick Chubb (Sr.), Georgia

Jordan Chunn (Sr.), Troy

Justin Crawford (Sr.), West Virginia

Damarea Crockett (So.), Missouri

Rico Dowdle (So.), South Carolina

D’Andre Ferby (Jr.), WKU

Kendrick Foster (Sr.), Illinois

Jarvion Franklin (Sr.), Western Michigan

Myles Gaskin (Jr.), Washington

James Gilbert (Jr.), Ball State

Derrius Guice (Jr.), LSU

Damien Harris (Jr.), Alabama

Kyle Hicks (Sr.), TCU

Justice Hill (So.), Oklahoma State

Jon Hilliman (Jr.), Boston College

Justin Jackson (Sr.), Northwestern

Chris James (Jr.), Wisconsin

Ty Johnson (Jr.), Maryland

Ronald Jones, II (Jr.), USC

Ray Lawry (Sr.), Old Dominion

Phillip Lindsay (Sr.), Colorado

Tonny Lindsey Jr. (Sr.), Utah State

Bryce Love (Jr.), Stanford

Sony Michel (Sr.), Georgia

Dedrick Mills (So.), Georgia Tech

David Montgomery (So.), Iowa State

Jamal Morrow (Sr.), Washington State

Ryan Nall (Jr.), Oregon State

Jacques Patrick (Jr.), Florida State

Kamryn Pettway (Jr.), Auburn

Demario Richard (Sr.), Arizona State

Diocemy Saint Juste (Sr.), Hawaii

Bo Scarbrough (Jr.), Alabama

Jordan Scarlett (Jr.), Florida

LJ Scott (Jr.), Michigan State

Bradrick Shaw (So.), Wisconsin

Armand Shyne (Jr.), Utah

Justin Silmon (Jr.), Kansas State

Ito Smith (Sr.), Southern Mississippi

Rodney Smith (Jr.), Minnesota

Benny Snell, Jr. (So.), Kentucky

Terry Swanson (Sr.), Toledo

Shaq Vann (Jr.), Eastern Michigan

Akrum Wadley (Sr.), Iowa

Mark Walton (Jr.), Miami

Warren Wand (Jr.), Arkansas State

Tre Watson (Sr.), Cal

Ralph Webb (Sr.), Vanderbilt

Mike Weber (So.), Ohio State

Braeden West (Jr.), SMU

Devwah Whaley (So.), Arkansas

Aeris Williams (Jr.), Mississippi State

Shaun Wilson (Sr.), Duke

Marquis Young (Jr.), Massachusetts