After a slow start to the preseason watch lists, things have been starting to pick up a bit for the Orange & Blue. On Thursday, Illinois saw its fourth player named to a preseason list as junior running back Josh Ferguson made the 2014 Doak Walker Award Watch List.
Ferguson is one of 53 running backs nationwide and eight from the Big Ten included on the list.
The Doak Walker Award is given annually to the country’s premier running back. The award itself is named after former SMU and Detroit Lions halfback Doak Walker.
No Fighting Illini running back has ever taken home the Doak Walker Award, but there have been six Big Ten players that have won the award. The last Big Ten back to win the award was Wisconsin’ Montee Ball in 2012.
The Walker Award has been presented to college running backs since 1990.
There’s no doubt the Josh Ferguson will be one of the main weapons for offensive coordinator Bill Cubit in his second year at Illinois.
As a sophomore in 2013, Ferguson ran for 779 yards and seven touchdowns on 141 carries while catching 50 passes for 535 yards and four touchdowns.
The Fighting Illini start the season at home in Memorial Stadium versus Youngstown State on August 30th. The Big Ten Network will televise the 11:30 a.m. matchup.
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