In a strange turn of events, Oregon running back Royce Freeman has been added to the Doak Walker Watch List for the 2017-18 season. Originally, Oregon failed to submit his name to the committee and Freeman was left off the initial 61-man roster.
Early Saturday, Freeman found himself on the list. The prestigious award is given to the best college football running back in the nation every year.
After the firing of former head coach Mark Helfrich, alongside Oregon’s Sports Information Director Dave Williford’s retirement on June 30, the Ducks have been going through a transition period.
Nevertheless, Freeman’s name will now be found amid the nation’s elite running backs, as it should be. He is already one of the best backs in the Pac-12, if not the best overall.
Freeman finds himself as a Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year nominee, as well. 2017-18 could be a swan song indeed for the senior star of Oregon.
Here are some other notable Ducks that have been nominated for prestigious awards:
Troy Dye is a candidate for the Badnarik Award, which is awarded to the best defender in the country every year. The sophomore linebacker is looking to make some more noise in his second campaign.
Jake Hanson is listed on the Rimington Trophy Watch List, which is awarded to the nation’s best center. The sophomore lineman is looking to improve under head coach Willie Taggart.
Tyrell Crosby is nominated for the Outland Trophy. It’s awarded to the best interior lineman in the country.
Charles Nelson is in the running for the Horung Award. It’s given to the most versatile player in the nation. Nelson has been Oregon’s most well-rounded athlete since he arrived on campus a few years ago.
Last but certainly not least is senior defensive back Juwaan Williams. He was nominated for the Wuerffel Trophy, which is given to the player that best combines community service with athletics and academic prowess.
With the newest addition of Freeman to the Doak Walker Watch List, the Ducks have their feet in the water of most award nominations. Now it’s just a matter of putting in the work on the field.
My extended football coverage and content will begin on Monday. In less than 10 days, I will be heading to campus for the start of fall practice (Monday, July 31). It all begins on Saturday, September 2 vs Southern Utah.