Kennedy Brooks, Ronnie Perkins Make Preseason Award Watch Lists

John. E. Hoover

If it’s July, it must be college football awards watch list season.

Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks was named to the Doak Walker Award watch list on Wednesday, a day after defensive end Ronnie Perkins was named to the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list.

The Doak Walker Award is given to the player deemed the top running back in college football. The Bednarik Award goes to the top overall defensive player.

Although Perkins is a longshot (he’s scheduled to serve an NCAA suspension for up to five games this season following a positive drug test ahead of last year’s Peach Bowl), Brooks should be considered a strong contender.

Brooks rushed for 1,056 yards and 12 touchdowns as a freshman and 1,011 yards and six TDs as a sophomore. He has a chance to be just the fourth player in school history to surpass 1,000 yards three times (joining De’Mond Parker, Adrian Peterson and Samaje Perine), and he could have an opportunity for plenty of action this fall.

Brooks split carries with Trey Sermon during his first two seasons, but Sermon transferred to Ohio State and the backups behind Brooks are mostly young or inexperienced. Brooks registered a career-high 155 yards last season. After averaging 7.5 yards per carry in his first two seasons — including 8.9 as a freshman, which ranked third in the nation in 2018 — he might be in for a much bigger workload.

The 5-foot-11, 214-pound Brooks, from Mansfield, TX, is majoring in Communications at OU.

Perkins, a 6-3, 247-pound junior from St. Louis, led the Sooners with 11 quarterback sacks over the last two seasons to go with 21.5 tackles for loss and 75 total tackles.

Both Brooks and Perkins were chosen second-team All-Big 12 by both coaches and media in 2019.

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