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Indiana Football: Jaylin Lucas named to Doak Walker Award preseason watch list



Nov 19, 2022; East Lansing, Michigan, USA; Indiana Hoosiers running back Jaylin Lucas (12) sprints upfield through the Michigan State Spartans defense at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Young-USA TODAY Sports

As it was announced per an Indiana football release, sophomore running back/return specialist Jaylin Lucas was selected to the Doak Walker Award preseason watch list

This award honors the nation’s most outstanding collegiate running back. This is the second preseason watch list that Lucas has been named to.

Jaylin Lucas joins three Indiana football Hoosier to earn preseason honors following behind James Evans (Ray Guy Award) Kahlil Benson (Allstate AFCA Good Works Team) and Sean Wracher (Patrick Mannelly Award).

Below is the full release.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A second national award has tabbed Indiana sophomore Jaylin Lucas is a part of its preseason watch list, as the Doak Walker Award released its list of players to watch during the 2023 season.

A first-team All-America selection as a true freshman, Lucas was the first Hoosier in program history and first freshman in Big Ten history to earn the conference’s Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year. The running back/return specialist was the only player in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) with multiple kickoff returns for a touchdown in 2022.

He led the Big Ten in combined kick return yardage (591) and kickoff return yards per game (28.1 ypg) and was among the top 16 in the conference in all-purpose yards per game (85.8 ypg). His game-opening kickoff return for a touchdown at Rutgers was the first kickoff return score at IU since Tevin Coleman in 2012 (at Northwestern). His two kickoff returns each went 90-plus yards and he added a 71-yard touchdown run for three scores of 70-plus yards. He was the first Hoosier since Coleman in 2014 with three 70-yard scoring plays in a single season.

The first-team All-Big Ten selection at kick returner, Lucas rushed for 141 of his 271 yards over his last three games (at Ohio State, at Michigan State, vs. Purdue). His best game from scrimmage came against the Boilermakers with 110 yards rushing on nine carries to go along with five receptions.

The prestigious Doak Walker Award was created in 1989 to honor the nation’s most outstanding collegiate running back. Named for the 1948 Heisman Trophy winner and three-time All-America selection from SMU, the Doak Walker Award recognizes a football player’s outstanding performance on the field, as well as his achievements in the community and in the classroom.

Each summer, all NCAA FBS colleges and universities are invited to nominate a running back from their respective football teams. Prior to the end of the college football season, the PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors convenes to select semifinalists for the award. The Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee, comprised of sports writers, television commentators, analysts, radio sports personalities and former All-America and All-Pro football players, then narrows the field to three finalists and determines the recipient.

The recipient of the Doak Walker Award is announced in December during The Home Depot College Football Awards and is honored at the Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet in Dallas in February.

In 1998, the Athletic Forum created the PwC Doak Walker Legends Award to honor former running backs who excelled at the collegiate level and went on to distinguish themselves as community leaders.

These awards are presented by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum, widely regarded as America’s preeminent sports lecture series, hosting four annual luncheons, and the Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet. The Doak Walker Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards.

SEE ALSO: Cam Camper ‘ahead of schedule’ with expectations of being ready for Indiana football season opener

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Kyler Staley is a Basketball Recruiting Analyst for Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Kyler has been in the basketball recruiting industry since 2019 and is a credentialed media member. He has covered Indiana since 2021 while continuing to also work for Prep Hoops Indiana. He has previously worked for Rivals.