Chris James

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Doak Walker Award watch list highlighted by 2016 semifinalists Barkley and Pettway

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A watch list of the top running backs in the nation has been released by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum on Thursday. The Doak Walker Award watch list is full of great players, including 2016 Doak Walker Award semifinalists Saquon Barkley (Penn State) and Kamryn Pettway (Auburn).

Among those included on this year’s initial Doak Walker Award watch list (more players can be added at any time) are LSU’s Derrius Guice, Georgia’s Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, LJ Scott of Michigan State, Mike Weber of Ohio State, and Bo Scarbrough of Alabama, Washington’s Myles Gaskin, and Western Michigan’s Jarvion Franklin.

D’Onta Foreman of Texas beat out both Barkley and Pettway last season for the award. The Doak Walker Award has been presented to the nation’s top running back annually since 1990. Among the winners over the years have included Ricky Williams, LaDainian Tomlinson, Reggie Bush, and Montee Ball.

To be included on this watch list, the university athletic department must submit a nomination.

2017 Doak Walker Award Watch List

Josh Adams, Notre Dame
Ryquell Armstead, Temple
Kalen Ballage, Arizona State
Saquon Barkley, Penn State
Alex Barnes, Kansas State
Jamauri Bogan, Western Michigan
D’Angelo Brewer, Tulsa
Nick Chubb, Georgia
Jordan Chunn, Troy
Justin Crawford, West Virginia
Damarea Crockett, Missouri
Rico Dowdle, South Carolina
D’Andre Ferby, WKU
Kendrick Foster, Illinois
Jarvion Franklin, Western Michigan
Myles Gaskin, Washington
James Gilbert, Ball State
Derrius Guice, LSU
Damien Harris, Alabama
Kyle Hicks, TCU
Justice Hill, Oklahoma State
Jon Hilliman, Boston College
Justin Jackson, Northwestern
Chris James, Wisconsin
Ty Johnson, Maryland
Ronald Jones II, USC
Ray Lawry, Old Dominion
Phillip Lindsay, Colorado
Tonny Lindsey Jr., Utah State
Bryce Love, Stanford
Sony Michel, Georgia
Dedrick Mills, Georgia Tech
David Montgomery, Iowa State
Jamal Morrow, Washington State
Ryan Nall, Oregon State
Jacques Patrick, Florida State
Kamryn Pettway, Auburn
Demario Richard, Arizona State
Diocemy Saint Juste, Hawaii
Bo Scarbrough, Alabama
Jordan Scarlett, Florida
LJ Scott, Michigan State
Bradrick Shaw, Wisconsin
Armand Shyne, Utah
Justin Silmon, Kansas State
Ito Smith, Southern Miss
Rodney Smith, Minnesota
Benny Snell Jr., Kentucky
Terry Swanson, Toledo
Shaq Vann, Eastern Michigan
Akrum Wadley, Iowa
Mark Walton, Miami
Warren Wand, Arkansas State
Tre Watson, California
Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt
Mike Weber, Ohio State
Braeden West, SMU
Devwah Whaley, Arkansas
Aeris Williams, Mississippi State
Shaun Wilson, Duke
Marquis Young, Massachusetts

Former four-star RB Chris James announces transfer from Pitt

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic
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Pittsburgh running back Chris James, a sophomore, will be on the move this offseason in pursuit of a new place to call home. The Panthers running back took to his Instagram account Monday to announce he will be transferring out of the program.

“I came to Pitt and instantly developed a love for the city, built relationships that have help mold who I am today,” James said. “Looking back I wouldn’t change a thing. I have to do what’s best for me and that is to move on.”

The decision by James comes as Pittsburgh is undergoing some slight changes to the coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney is leaving the program to take on the same role at Georgia and the Panthers are now searching for a new offensive coordinator to fill the role under Pat Narduzzi. James joins linebacker Jamal Davis and safety Patrick Amara among players deciding to transfer from Pitt since the end of the regular season.

James played in 10 games this season for the Panthers, rushing 56 times for 253 yards without a touchdown. James was most recently listed on the Pitt depth chart as the top backup to Qadree Ollison with James Conner knocked out for the season. Ollison, a freshman, led the Panthers with 1,048 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns this fall. James was a four-star recruit in Pittsburgh’s Class of 2014 out of Illinois. He chose Pittsburgh over offers from Illinois, Michigan State, Arizona State, Missouri, Tennessee, Wisconsin among others.