MADISON, Wis. – For the second year in a row, Wisconsin running back Montee Ball has been named a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation’s top running back. Last year, Ball was one of three finalists for the award.
This marks the eighth time in the last 15 years a Badger running back has been named to the semifinalist list. Ron Dayne was a finalist for the award in 1998 before winning in 1999. Anthony Davis (2001), Brian Calhoun (2005) and P.J. Hill (2006) were all semifinalists. In 2010, John Clay earned a trip to Orlando as a finalist.
This year, Ball is one of three running backs in the Big Ten to have surpassed 1,000 yards on the ground. The other two, Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell and Venric Mark of Northwestern, are also among the 10 Doak Walker Award semifinalists. Ball’s 13 total touchdowns are second-best in the Big Ten, just one off the conference lead.
During league play, Ball is averaging 133.6 rushing yards per game and has scored 10 TDs in five contests. He is entering what has historically been his most productive month. Over the last eight November games, Ball has averaged 176.8 yards per game and scored 25 touchdowns.
Ball and Oklahoma State’s Joseph Randle are the only two players to make the semifinalist list in each of the past two seasons.
The complete Doak Walker Award semifinalist list can be found below:
Montee Ball (Sr.) Wisconsin
Kenjon Barner (Sr.) Oregon
Le’Veon Bell (Jr.) Michigan State
Giovani Bernard (So.) North Carolina
David Fluellen (Jr.) Toledo
Johnathan Franklin (Sr.) UCLA
Stefphon Jefferson (Jr.) Nevada
Venric Mark (Jr.) Northwestern
Joseph Randle (Jr.) Oklahoma State
Stepfan Taylor (Sr.) Stanford