The Doak Walker award watch list was announced and our main man Evan Royster wasn't among the running backs being watched. Armando Allen of Notre Dame who had a whopping 585 yards last year with 3 touchdowns and one 100+ yard game is on the list and so are Daniel Herron of OSU (439 career yards – no games over the century mark), John Clay of Wisconsin (884 yards in 2008) and Michigan's Brandon Minor whose accumulated stats over three years (1,156 yards, 12 TD's) don't add up to Royster's stats from 2008 (1,236 yards, 12 TD's).
Adam Rittenberg of THE leader is shaking his head as much as you probably are right now.
That said, I've got a major beef with this list.
No Evan Royster? Are you kidding me?
I'm almost certain that this is an oversight, and I'll be checking in with the Doak Walker folks this morning to see what they say.
You go Adam! Don't take this crap sitting down.
While these awards are really meaningless in the grand scope of things, as far as Penn State is concerned, and Evan probably doesn't even give a damn, it's still disconcerting that the Big Ten's returning rushing leader isn't mentioned for a national award and three other Big Ten backs are. I could probably sift through the list and most of the backs mentioned would not have the stats that Evan did in 2008.
As far as 2009 is concerned with the loss of Penn State's top three wide receivers it's not a stretch of the imagination to predict even better numbers for Royster because Penn State's offense will most likely have to rely on him more. Even with three new starters, if Penn State's offensive line doesn't open the holes like it did last year Royster is still going to get more carries and Evan's always been one to make his own holes when needed. It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
Update: So Rittenberg got to the bottom and as it turns out it was PSU’s fault that Evan was not included on the preseason list.
The release date for the watch list was moved up three weeks this year, and Penn State didn't nominate Royster in time. Lockhart said an e-mail for nominations was sent to schools on July 2 and a call was placed to Penn State last week.
"Evan Royster is most definitely one of the most productive running backs returning to college this season, and we fully expect him to be an official candidate for the award," Lockhart wrote in an e-mail to ESPN.com. "Evan not being on the preseason list in no way effects his chances of winning the Doak Walker Award, and since he was a 2008 semifinalist for the award we fully expect him to be in the running again this year. We will gladly add him once he is nominated. Universities are allowed to nominate candidates through October."
So yeah, no need for further alarm, back to work… nothing to see here.