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Ohio State, UK running backs, Mt. Healthy grad on Doak Walker watch list

FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2016, file photo, Ohio State's Mike Weber (25) hurdles Penn State's Manny Bowen (43) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa. Weber was voted the newcomer of the year for The Associated Press All-Big Ten football team, selected Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Chris Knight, FIle)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Ohio State sophomore Mike Weber, University of Kentucky sophomore Benny Snell Jr. and Mount Healthy High School graduate David Montgomery are among the 61 candidates announced on Thursday for the Doak Walker Award, which honors the top running back in college football.

The award was initiated in 1990 and is named in honor of Doak Walker a star halfback in college for the SMU Mustangs from 1946-49 and in the National Football League for the Detroit Lions from 1950-57.

Weber rushed for 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns last year as a redshirt freshman and averaged 6.0 yards per carry. He started all 13 games he participated.

Snell Jr. set six UK freshman records in 2016, including most rushing touchdowns in a game (four), most rushing yards by a freshman (1,091), most rushing touchdowns by a freshman (13), most total touchdowns by a freshman (13), most 100-yard rushing games (five) and most rushing yards by a freshman in a single game (192).

Montgomery, who is a sophomore at Iowa State, was a quarterback in high school. He played in all 12 games last season, starting the final four contests, and led the team in rushing with 563 yards on 109 carries. His rushing total was the second-best season effort by a Cyclone freshman in school history.

There will be 10 semifinalists announced on Nov. 15 and three finalists named on Nov. 20. The winner will be announced on Dec. 7 during The Home Depot College Football Awards show on ESPN.

The National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football, are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 12-day period this month. Seventeen of the association's 23 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award's preseason candidates.

Following is the entire 2017 preseason watch list calendar:

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