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Saquon Barkley, Derrius Guice lead Doak Walker watch list

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The Doak Walker Award released its annual preseason watch list on Thursday, and there was a surprising absence from the field.

Sixty-one players were selected to the watch list for the award that goes to the nation's top running back, but the leading contenders are expected to be Penn State's Saquon Barkley and LSU's Derrius Guice. They're atop NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein's ranking of the top players to watch at the position in 2017.

Alabama's Bo Scarbrough, Oregon's Royce Freeman and USC's Ronald Jones II are among the other top RB prospects in the pipeline. Surprisingly, Freeman was left off the watch list. He had the least productive season of his career and missed time due to injury in 2016, but still gained more yards than Scarbrough, who broke out in the postseason while leading Alabama to the national championship game.

Schools nominate candidates for the honor and can continue to do so through October, according to the NCAA.

Per the website for the award, the Doak Walker "is the only major collegiate football 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."

Houston Texans rookie D'Onta Foreman (Texas) won the award last season. Other past recipients include Derrick Henry (2015, Alabama), Melvin Gordon (2014, Wisconsin) and LaDainian Tomlinson (2000).

The winner of the award will be announced on Dec. 7.

Note: Click through tabs above to see other watch lists.

2017 Doak Walker Award watch list

Josh Adams, Notre Dame
Ryquell Armstead, Temple
Kalen Ballage, Arizona State
Saquon Barkley, Penn State
Alex Barnes, Kansas State
Jamauri Bogan, Western Michigan
D'Angelo Brewer, Tulsa
Nick Chubb, Georgia
Jordan Chunn, Troy
Justin Crawford, West Virginia
Damarea Crockett, Missouri
Rico Dowdle, South Carolina
D'Andre Ferby, WKU
Kendrick Foster, Illinois
Jarvion Franklin, Western Michigan
Myles Gaskin, Washington
James Gilbert, Ball State
Derrius Guice, LSU
Damien Harris, Alabama
Kyle Hicks, TCU
Justice Hill, Oklahoma State
Jon Hilliman, Boston College
Justin Jackson, Northwestern
Chris James, Wisconsin
Ty Johnson, Maryland
Ronald Jones, II, USC
Ray Lawry, Old Dominion
Phillip Lindsay, Colorado
Tonny Lindsey, Jr., Utah State
Bryce Love, Stanford
Sony Michel, Georgia
Dedrick Mills, Georgia Tech
David Montgomery, Iowa State
Jamal Morrow, Washington State
Ryan Nall, Oregon State
Jacques Patrick, Florida State
Kamryn Pettway, Auburn
Demario Richard, Arizona State
Diocemy Saint Juste, Hawaii
Bo Scarbrough, Alabama
Jordan Scarlett, Florida
LJ Scott, Michigan State
Bradrick Shaw, Wisconsin
Armand Shyne, Utah
Justin Silmon, Kansas State
Ito Smith, Southern Mississippi
Rodney Smith, Minnesota
Benny Snell, Jr., Kentucky
Terry Swanson, Toledo
Shaq Vann, Eastern Michigan
Akrum Wadley, Iowa
Mark Walton, Miami
Warren Wand, Arkansas State
Tre Watson, Cal
Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt
Mike Weber, Ohio State
Braeden West, SMU
Devwah Whaley, Arkansas
Aeris Williams, Mississippi State
Shaun Wilson, Duke
Marquis Young, Massachusetts

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