Chris Rodriguez Jr. on Doak Walker Watch List
Kentucky junior running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. was honored as a Doak Walker Watch List member it was announced today by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum. The Forum annually presents the award to the nation’s top college running back.
Rodriguez, a 5-11, 224-pounder from McDonough, Georgia, led the Cats in rushing in 2020 with 785 yards and 11 touchdowns despite missing two games due to COVID-19 protocols. The power back had four 100-yard rushing games, including three of the final four games for which he was available, and was nearly impossible to bring down. He totaled 105 consecutive carries without being tackled behind the line of scrimmage and gained positive yardage on 116 of his 119 total attempts. He delivered a career-best 149 yards vs. Vanderbilt on Nov. 14 and led the SEC in yards per attempt at 6.6. Overall, he ranked fifth in the Southeastern Conference in rushing yards per game (87.2). Rodriguez currently has 1,361 career rushing yards, good for 27th place in school history.
He is also on the Maxwell Award Watch List for the nation’s outstanding player in college football and has been named preseason second-team All-SEC by Athlon Sports, third-team All-SEC by Phil Steele and a preseason honorable mention All-American by Pro Football Focus.
The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name ten semifinalists in November, and three finalists, as voted on by the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee, will be announced in November. The committee will cast a second vote in December to determine the recipient. The National Selection Committee consists of past recipients, former NFL All-Pro and college All-America running backs, media members and selected special representatives.
The recipient of the 2021 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards.
The award is named for SMU’s three-time All-America running back Doak Walker. It is the only major collegiate award that requires all candidates to be in good academic standing and on schedule to graduate within one year of other students of the same classification.
Seven home games at Kroger Field highlight Kentucky’s 2021 football schedule. The Wildcats kick off the season on Sept. 4 against the ULM Warhawks, the first of three consecutive home games. Missouri arrives in Lexington on Sept. 11 for the first conference game of the year before Chattanooga wraps up the homestand on Sept. 18.
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