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Doak Walker watch list snubs Penn State's Royster

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Congratulations to Wisconsin's John Clay, Michigan's Brandon Minor and Ohio State's Dan Herron for being named to the Doak Walker Award watch list. All three running backs should have big seasons for their respective teams.

That said, I've got a major beef with this list.

No Evan Royster? Are you kidding me?

Royster is the Big Ten's leading returning rusher after racking up 1,236 yards and 12 touchdowns last year. He finished fourth in the league in rushing behind Doak Walker Award winner Shonn Greene, Doak Walker finalist Javon Ringer and Ohio State star Chris "Beanie" Wells. The Penn State sophomore was named a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award in November.

Perhaps the Doak Walker folks forgot about the league that dominated their award last year, accounting for two of the three finalists and the eventual winner. To exclude Royster and have players like Donald Buckram and DaJuane Collins on the list is absurd.

Royster is more deserving of national recognition than any other Big Ten back.

The Doak Walker Award, according to its Web site, is "the only major collegiate football award that requires all candidates to be in good academic standing and on schedule to graduate within one year of other students of the same classification." But I've heard nothing about Royster having academic struggles at Penn State. His status with the team has never been in question.

I'm almost certain that this is an oversight, and I'll be checking in with the Doak Walker folks this morning to see what they say.