For the second straight season, Wisconsin sophomore running back Jonathan Taylor has been named a finalist for the Doak Walker Award.
The nation’s leading rusher, Taylor has tallied 1,869 rushing yards and scored 15 touchdowns. His average of 169.9 yards per game is 31.6 higher than any other FBS player and has Taylor on pace to rush for 2,209 yards in 13 games. Only six players in FBS history have run for 2,200 yards in a season.
Taylor has topped the 100-yard mark in 10 of 11 games this season, including an FBS-leading four 200-yard efforts. He rushed for a career-high 321 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner in triple overtime, last Saturday at Purdue.
After breaking Adrian Peterson’s FBS freshman record with 1,977 yards last season, Taylor needs just 31 yards to become only the fourth player to record back-to-back seasons of at least 1,900 yards. he looks to join the likes of Iowa State’s Troy Davis (1995-96), TCU’s LaDanian Tomlinson (1999-2000) and Memphis’ DeAngelo Williams (2004-05).
With 3,846 yards for his career, Taylor has already smashed fellow Badger Ron Dayne’s FBS record for combined rushing yards as a freshman and sophomore. Taylor, Dayne (3,566 yards, 1996-97) and Herschel Walker (3,507, 1980-81) are the only FBS players to tally 3,500 rushing yards in their first two seasons.
Clemson sophomore Travis Etienne and Memphis junior Darrell Henderson are the other finalists for the Doak Walker Award.
The Doak Walker Award winner bill be announced during The Home Depot College Football Awards, which airs at 6 p.m. (CT) on Dec. 6 from the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta. The award will be presented at the 2018 Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet in Dallas on Fe. 8.