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Doak Walker Award 2014 watch list: Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon honored

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As expected, Melvin Gordon made the watch list for the Doak Walker Award for the nation's top running back.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Making the preseason Doak Walker Award watch list is almost assuredly just the first of many accolades headed Melvin Gordon's way this season. Wisconsin's junior running back might very well be the best in the country; at the very least, he's among the top three.

Fifty-three running backs made the watch list, which was announced Thursday. Along with Gordon, the favorites for the award -- at this juncture, at least -- are Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah, Georgia's Todd Gurley, Alabama's T.J. Yeldon and South Carolina's Mike Davis.

Gordon could've left Wisconsin following his standout sophomore season, as some NFL Draft evaluators reportedly considered him the top back in that draft class. Alas, he returns after rushing for 1,609 yards (7.8 per carry) and 12 touchdowns while powering the Badgers' eighth-ranked rushing attack (283.8 yards per game).

Below is the full Doak Walker watch list. Vote below, too, to let us know who you think will ultimately nab the trophy.

2014 Doak Walker Award preseason watch list

Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
Jay Ajayi, Boise State
Javorius "Buck" Allen, USC
Leon Allen, Western Kentucky
Terry Baggett, Army
Bill Belton, Penn State
Malcolm Brown, Texas
Tra Carson, Texas A&M
B.J. Catalon, TCU
David Cobb, Minnesota
Tevin Coleman, Indiana
Alex Collins, Arkansas
James Conner, Pittsburgh
Marcus Cox, Appalachian State
Mike Davis, South Carolina
Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech
Jahwan Edwards, Ball State
Kenneth Farrow, Houston
Josh Ferguson, Illinois
D.J. Foster, Arizona State
Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
Michael Gordon, Arkansas State
Johnathan Gray, Texas
Todd Gurley, Georgia
Kenneth Harper, Temple
Alonzo Harris, Louisiana
Derrick Henry, Alabama
Bronson Hill, Eastern Michigan
Joe Hill, Utah State
Duke Johnson, Miami
Jeremy Langford, Michigan State
Daniel Lasco, California
Shock Linwood, Baylor
Robert Lowe, Texas State
Tre Madden, USC
Terrence Magee, LSU
Raymond Maples, Army
Byron Marshall, Oregon
Kevin Parks, Virginia
Christian Powell, Colorado
Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego State
Josh Robinson, Mississippi State
William Stanback, UCF
Cameron Stingily, Northern Illinois
Kelvin Taylor, Florida
Thomas Tyner, Oregon
Jamaal Williams, BYU
Jonathan Williams, Arkansas
Trey Williams, Texas A&M
Aaron Wimberly, Iowa State
T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
Kelsey Young, Stanford
Zach Zwinak, Penn State