FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas Razorbacks sophomore running back Devwah Whaley was named to the Doak Walker Award’s preseason watch list on Thursday.
The Doak Walker Award is presented annually to the nation’s best college running back.
Whaley recorded 110 carries for 602 yards and three touchdowns last season as a true freshman. He was the Hogs’ No. 2 back in 2016 behind Rawleigh Williams III, who led the SEC in rushing yardage during the regular season.
Williams announced his retirement from football following a neck injury in the April spring game, meaning Whaley will take over as the Razorbacks’ No. 1 option in the backfield for 2017.
Whaley — a Beaumont, Texas, native — was one of the most highly-ranked running back recruits in the 2016 recruiting class nationally. He chose the Hogs over offers from schools like Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Stanford and Texas.
Arkansas has a proud running back tradition. Razorbacks legend Darren McFadden is one of only two players ever to win the Doak Walker Award twice. McFadden won it in 2006 and 2007. In the latter season, McFadden set a school record by rushing for 1,830 yards.
Every Bret Bielema-coached team — at Wisconsin and Arkansas — has ended the season with at least one 1,000-yard rusher.