WEST LAFAYETTE – Purdue sophomore Markell Jones has been named to the watch list for the 2016 Doak Walker Award, which is presented the nation’s premier running back for his accomplishments on the field, achievement in the classroom and citizenship in the community.
Jones, a native of Columbus, Indiana, broke out in his inaugural season last year, rushing for a Purdue freshman-record 875 yards and 10 touchdowns on 168 carries. He averaged 5.2 yards per rush and was limited to merely seven negative rushing yards all season. Jones was one of three freshman running backs in the country to rush for at least 875 yards with 10 touchdowns last season and did so starting just six games. He additionally caught 34 passes for 239 yards and another score.
At No. 2 Michigan State, he rushed for a season-high 157 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. The yardage total was the most by a true freshman running back in school history.
Majoring in aviation technology, Jones has already qualified for his pilot’s license in addition to serving as an ambassador to numerous local schools and charities as a role model in the community.
The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name ten semifinalists on November 16, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the three finalists, who will be announced on November 22. The committee will cast a second vote beginning November 28 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 2016 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 8, on ESPN. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held in Dallas in early 2017.
The award, which will name its 27th recipient in 2016, is named for SMU’s three-time All-America running back Doak Walker.