LARAMIE — Wyoming running back Xazavian Valladay has been selected to the Doak Walker Award preseason watch list.
Valladay, who led the Mountain West in rushing last season, joins more than 70 other players on the list for the award, which annually goes to college football’s top running back. Other preseason candidates include Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard, a finalist for the award last season after leading the nation in rushing, and Clemson’s Travis Etienne, a finalist in 2018.
Ten semifinalists will be selected in November before the candidate pool is eventually pared down to three finalists. The winner will be announced during The Home Depot College Football Awards show in December.
Valladay, who’s entering his redshirt junior season, ran for 1,265 yards a season ago and ranked 18th nationally in rushing yards per game (105.4) on his way to first-team all-MW honors. The Matteson, Illinois, native eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in seven games, including a career-high 206 yards against Nevada.
Valladay also led the MW in all-purpose yards (1,489). He’s rushed for 1,661 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 5.2 yards a carry for his career.
Valladay is part of a UW backfield that has its top three backs returning from last season. Former Louisville transfer Trey Smith, who was granted a sixth year of eligibility, and Titus Swen are both back after sustaining season-ending injuries.
Follow UW athletics beat writer Davis Potter on Twitter at @DavisEPotter.
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