PITTSBURGH -- Despite missing a game and a half with injury, he's the nation's sixth most prolific rusher, the leader in rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns. Still, the Pitt Panthers' star tailback is not a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, given to the best running back in college football.
Israel Abanikanda was outstanding season was good enough to earn him first-team All-ACC honors, but not a shot at the most prestigious distinction a college running back can earn. Little more than a week ago, he was named a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award, but has fallen short of the ultimate goal.
Illinois Chase Brown, Michigan's Blake Corum and Texas' Bijan Robinson all made the cut ahead of Abanikanda. All of them out-rushed Abanikanda in terms of total output, but he took 18 carries fewer than Corum, 21 fewer than Robinson and 89 fewer than Brown. Robinson was the only one to rush for more yards per attempt than Abanikanda and he scored more touchdowns than all of three.
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