Canadian Chase Brown named semifinalist for Doak Walker Award as top running back in college football

Photo courtesy: Illinois Athletics

Canadian running back Chase Brown has been named a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the top running back in college football.

The native of London, Ont. has rushed 309 times for 1,582 yards and nine touchdowns this season along with 26 receptions for 197 yards and three touchdowns. He ranks first in the NCAA in carries, rushing yards, plays from scrimmages, yards from scrimmage, rushes of ten yards or more, and 100-yard games. He also ranks fourth in touchdowns in the Big Ten.

Brown is 116 rushing yards away from breaking Illinois’ single-season rushing record with one game remaining on the schedule. He is also 221 all-purpose yards away from reaching 2,000 all-purpose yards this year, which has never been done by a player in team history.

The five-foot-eleven, 205-pound ball carrier was the catalyst for Illinois’ 7-1 start to the season that saw them reach as high as No. 16 on the college football top 25 rankings. The club has since lost three straight games to fall to 7-4.

Previous winners of the Doak Walker Award include Eddie George, Ricky Williams, LaDainian Tomlinson, Larry Johnson, Reggie Bush, Melvin Gordon, Derrick Henry, Jonathan Taylor, and Najee Harris.

This year’s other semifinalists include Israel Abanikanda, Zach Charbonnet, Blake Corum, Mohamed Ibrahim, Quinshon Judkins, DeWayne McBride, Kendre Miller, Bijan Robinson, and Deuce Vaughn.