- 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.
2023 Doak Walker Award Odds
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.
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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.
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.
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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).
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.
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