Illini's Ford, ND's Wood on Walker watch list

Illinois senior Jason Ford and Notre Dame junior Cierre Wood were among the 51 players named to the Doak Walker Award watch list on Friday.

The Doak Walker Award is given to the nation’s top running back. Oregon's LaMichael James won the award last season.

Ford rushed for 480 yards and seven touchdowns on 99 carries for the Illini last season. He’s expected to be Illinois’ primary running back this season with Mikel Leshoure entering the NFL.

Wood rushed for 603 yards and three touchdowns on 119 carries for the Irish last season. He took over as Notre Dame’s starting running back last season when Armando Allen went down with a season-ending injury.