It did not take long for an Appalachian State player to appear on an award watch list in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Sophomore tailback Marcus Cox was named to the 2014 Doak Walker Award preseason watch list. The award is given annually to the nation’s top running back.
Cox, a 5-10, 200-pound running back from Georgia, was outstanding as a true freshman last season. He set a pair of freshman rushing records with total rushing yards (1,250) and total touchdowns (21). Cox also tied the freshman record with 15 rushing scores and a total of 1,809 all-purpose yards. He was also the only FCS player on last year’s Freshman All-American team according to 247Sports.
Cox is the only player from any of the schools in North Carolina to be chosen for the preseason award list.
The list is headlined by the nation’s leading rusher last season, Ameer Abdullah. The Nebraska tailback scampered for 1,690 yards in 2013.
Other top runners include South Carolina’s Mike Davis, who was a semifinalist for last year’s award, Georgia’s Todd Gurley, who played his high school football in North Carolina, and Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon who has been a thorn in the side for several teams over his first two seasons of college football.
Virginia’s Kevin Parks is on the list as well. Parks played high school football at West Rowan and is hoping for a big season to cap off his UVA career.
The Doak Walker award has been handed out each year since 1990 and have went to some of the top players in the history of the game, regardless of position.
Doak Walker Award Winners:
1990 – Greg Lewis (Washington)
1991 – Trevor Cobb (Rice)
1992 – Garrison Hearst (Georgia)
1993 – Bam Morris (Texas Tech)
1994 – Rashaan Salaam (Colorado)
1995 – Eddie George (Ohio State)
1996 – Byron Hanspard (Texas Tech)
1997 and 1998 – Ricky Williams (Texas)
1999 – Ron Dayne (Wisconsin)
2000 – LaDainian Tomlinson
2001 – Luke Staley (BYU)
2002 – Larry Johnson (Penn State)
2003 – Chris Perry (Michigan)
2004 – Cedric Benson (Texas)
2005 – Reggie Bush (USC)
2006 and 2007 – Darren McFadden (Arkansas)
2008 – Shonn Greene (Iowa)
2009 – Toby Gerhart (Stanford)
2010 – LaMichael James (Oregon)
2011 – Trent Richardson (Alabama)
2012 – Montee Ball (Wisconsin)
2013 – Andre Williams (Boston College)
The Mountaineers will start practice on Aug. 1.
*Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87