STORRS, Conn. — University of Connecticut junior Arkeel Newsome was named to the watch list for the 2016 Doak Walker Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top college running back. The preseason candidates were announced by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum on Thursday, July 14.
The award, which will name its 27th recipient in 2016, is named for SMU’s three-time All-America running back Doak Walker. Established in 1989, the award recognizes accomplishment on the field, achievement in the classroom and citizenship in the community.
The Ansonia, Conn. native led the team in 2015 with 792 rushing yards on 183 carries with six touchdowns. Newsome gave a career-best performance against East Carolina on Oct. 30, 2015, after he racked up 179 rushing yards with a 90 yard long.
A versatile member of the Husky offense, Newsome also finished second on the team in receiving with 45 receptions for 465 yards and two touchdowns. As a sophomore, Newsome started in 10 of 13 games and enters his junior year with 25 career games with 12 starts. Newsome saw action in all 12 contests as a true freshman in 2014, starting two at tailback.
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 recipient of the 2016 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 8, on ESPN.
In addition to Newsome, four other Huskies have been name to watch lists this preseason — junior cornerback Jamar Summers (Orange, N.J.) for the Jim Thorpe Award, the Badnarik Award and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, redshirt senior kicker Bobby Puyol (North Palm Beach, Fla.) for the Lou Groza Award and the Wuerffel Trophy, redshirt senior punter Justin Wain (Wilmington, N.C.) for the Ray Guy Award and redshirt sophomore center Ryan Crozier (Plantation, Fla.) for the Rimington Trophy.