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WMU pair, MSU’s Scott land on Doak Walker watch list

The Detroit News

The Western Michigan football team can boast two running backs with 1,000-yard seasons under their belt.

It’s little wonder, then, that the Broncos are well-represented on the watch list for the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation’s top running back, which was unveiled Thursday.

Rising senior Jarvion Franklin and rising junior Jamauri Bogan are Western Michigan’s entries on the list, which includes several other running backs with Michigan ties, including Michigan State rising junior LJ Scott, Eastern Michigan junior-to-be Shaq Vann, and Ohio State rising sophomore Mike Weber, a Detroit Cass Tech product.

Western Michigan is one of only a few teams that can boast more than one candidate on the 61-player watch list — SEC heavyweights Alabama and Georgia are among the others — and, in Franklin and Bogan, have a pair who boast solid credentials.

Franklin had 1,551 yards (5.1 yards per carry) in 2014, and 1,353 yards (5.5) with 12 touchdowns last season, while Bogan broke the 1,000-yard barrier in 2015 with 1,051 (6.5 yards). He had 923 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

In three seasons, Franklin has rushed for 3,639 yards and 41 touchdowns, while Bogan has rushed for 1,974 yards and 24 touchdowns in two seasons. They’re big reasons why ESPN’s Phil Steele ranked the Broncos’ running backs 13th in the nation.

Michigan State’s unit was ranked No. 15 on that list, thanks in part to Scott, who leads a three-man committee that also includes Gerald Holmes and Madre London. Scott paced the trio in rushing last season with 994 yards and six touchdowns. It’s the second watch list for Scott, who last week was named to the Maxwell Award watch list for college football’s player of the year.

Vann’s 2016 season was cut short after two games because of injuries, but it’s his second time on the Doak Walker watch list. Weber led the Buckeyes in rushing as a redshirt freshman with 1,096 yards.

The winner will be announced Dec. 7.