The Doak Walker Award watch list is out, and the University of Washington's Sean McGrew appears to have a leg up on the competition in becoming the nation's leading running back.
Among the 86 players listed, his is the only name that appears twice.
While deserving of any recognition that comes his way and certainly no typo, the veteran McGrew would be the first to tell you that in reality he's in for a real battle simply for playing time. He's hard-pressed just to become the Huskies' No. 1 back or even the No. 2 guy again in a highly competitive position room.
From a pandemic-shortened season, the 5-foot-7, 180-pound sixth-year senior from Torrance, California, returns as the Huskies' leading rusher with 227 yards and 4 touchdowns on 43 carries.
In 2020, he started two games and split real-time snaps with three other backs in Kamari Pleasant, Richard Newton and Cam Davis, and everybody came back.
This past spring, however, McGrew often ran behind Davis, currently a redshirt freshman, and Newton, a sophomore, as it appeared the Huskies were trying to establish one of these younger guys as the lead back.
Still, McGrew provides a dependable, hard runner who's averaged 5.2 yards per carry in 36 career games.
In the accompanying video, he explained his motivation for coming back for year six, expressing a desire to win another Pac-12 championship, something that was prevented by the pandemic last fall.
As a Doak Walker candidate, McGrew joins a process that narrows the candidates to 10 semifinalists in November and then to three finalists, with the winner determined in December. Walker was a three-time All-America running back for SMU.
The very first Walker Award winner was the UW's Greg Lewis in 1990, a year in which he was named Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year and finished up with a Rose Bowl victory over Iowa.
For McGrew, here's hoping the Walker Award candidacy turns out better than it did for his teammate Newton. A year ago, Newton made the watch list only to play in two games and inexplicably sit out the rest of the season.
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