Quinshon Judkins favored to claim 2023 Doak Walker Award as nation’s top running back

  • Quinshon Judkins (+500) is the favorite to be named the top running back in college football
  • Bijan Robinson, Jonathan Taylor and Derrick Henry are all former winners of the  Doak Walker Award
  • “Week 0” of the college football season kicks off on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023

Chances are if you win a Doak Walker Award, you will soon be starring in the NFL on Sundays. Last year’s winner Bijan Robinson was selected No. 8 overall by the Atlanta Falcons. 2021 winner Kenneth Walker III narrowly missed out on the Offensive Rookie of the Year last season. And Najee Harris, Jonathan Taylor and Derrick Henry have all picked up the hardware in the past decade.

Before we look at the odds to win the award this season, be sure to check out our 2023-24 College Football Betting Resources and our tips for betting on the NCAAF National Championship.

2023 Doak Walker Award Odds

PlayerBovadaBetOnline ReviewMyBookie Review
Quinshon Judkins+500+500+500
Raheim Sanders+700+700+700
Nicholas Singleton+900+900+900
Braelon Allen+1200+1200+1200
Blake Corum+1200+1200+1200
Trey Benson+1200+1200+1200
Will Shipley+1200+1200+1200
TreVeyon Henderson+1600+1600+1600
Bucky Irving+2000+2000+2000
Donovan Edwards+2500+2500+2500
Rasheen Ali+2500+2500+2500
Jabari Small+2500+2500+2500
Audric Estime+2500+2500+2500
MarShawn Lloyd+3000+3000+3000
Jase McClellan+3500+3500+3500

Quinshon Judkins and Raheim Sanders

Quinshon Judkins (+500) ran for 1,567 yards last season, the most by a SEC freshman since Herschel Walker in 1980, with 16 rushing scores and eight 100-yard games. The biggest strike against the 19-year-old is he plays for Ole Miss and the award has historically been handed out to backs on successful programs.

Similarly, Raheim Sanders (+700) suits up for an Arkansas team that won’t be competitive in the SEC. While Sanders is the only returning FBS player who compiled more than 1,400 rushing yards (1,443) and 250 receiving yards (271) last year, he only crossed the goal line five times. That won’t be nearly enough to claim the Doak Walker as past victors have all had at least 15 rushing TDs.

Holding pattern

Knowing that most Doak Walker winners play on contending teams, keep an eye out for odds on Ohio State’s Chip Trayanum and Georgia’s Branson Robinson. Both players made Bruce Feldman’s ‘Freaks List’ in The Athletic. At 5-11, 233-pounds, Trayanum ran a 40 in the high 4.3s with a max velocity of 22.2 MPH. While he would need an injury to starter TreVeyon Henderson (+1600), crazier things have happened.

Meanwhile, Robinson is 5-10, 220-pound sophomore who has an elite broad jump and squats 590 pound. The bulldozer had two TDs in the Bulldogs’ national title game beatdown of TCU.

Quinshon JudkinsDoak Walker Award
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Raheim SandersDoak Walker Award
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Another Wisconsin RB?

Braelon Allen (+1200) is looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow Badgers back Jonathan Taylor, who claimed the honor in both 2018 and 2019. While the Wisconsin product ran for over 1,200 yards and 11+ touchdowns in each of his first two seasons, keep in mind that Taylor ran for over 2,000 yards in both years he captured the Doak Walker.

Michigan backs

Blake Corum (+1200) may have won the Doak Walker and the Heisman had he not gotten injured last season. The Wolverine recorded over 100 rushing yards in eight-straight contests, piling up 18 TDs in just 11 games before getting hurt. However, he looked a step slow after his return last year and will be sharing Michigan’s backfield with Donovan Edwards (+2500). 

Best Bet

Nicholas Singleton (+900) had 1,061 rushing yards and 12 TDs in his freshman campaign for the Nittany Lions. The big back ran a 4.39 40-yard dash this offseason at 228 pounds, with a 4.18 shuttle.

If he can siphon more work away from his backfield running mate Kaytron Allen, Singleton could make a run at the award while playing on a run-heavy Penn State squad poised to contend in the Big Ten.

Nicholas SingletonDoak Walker Award
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Steve Starr

Steve is the quintessential American sports enthusiast. He has mastered the art of Sundays, devoting them to football, and barbecue parties. He proudly wears the hats of a good father, husband and a great dog owner. Aside from his decades of contributing to different top-tier sports publications, Steve has also found his niche on Twitter, where he publishes funny and relatable sports-related insights. When he's not busy tweeting, Steve loves to watch each game unfold live. He possesses an innate talent for finding humor in the sports world, appreciating both the thrilling moments and the comedic mishaps that make each event unique.