No surprise here.
For the second time this month, Western Kentucky University senior running back Bobby Rainey has found himself on a preseason watch list Friday as the Doak Walker Award — which is presented annually to the nation’s top running back — announced its preseason candidates.
Rainey is one of 51 candidates on the preseason list, which includes 2010 recipient LaMichael Jamesof Oregon. He is also one of three Sun Belt running backs on the list, joining Lance Dunbar of North Texas and Alfred Morris of Florida Atlantic. Louisville’s Victor Andersonis the only other player from Kentucky on the list.
In addition to the Doak Walker Award list, Rainey was also part of the Maxwell Award watch list released on July 5. Hilltopper tight end Jack Doyle was also mentioned on the Mackey Award list released last week. With two National College Football Award Association watch list remaining, WKU’s three mentions equal Arkansas State for the second most in the Sun Belt Conference. Troy leads the league with players on four different lists.
The 2010 Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team all-league selection, Rainey had a season for the record books in 2010, finishing third in the nation in rushing (137.42 yards per game) while leading the nation in rushing attempts with 340. The attempts are also a WKU record, while his total rushing yards (1,649) rank second on the WKU single-season list – falling 19 shy of the record. He earned honorable mention All-America honors from SI.comat the end of last season.
Rainey’s 1,879 yards from scrimmage represented 49.23 percent of WKU’s 3,817 total team yards. He hit 100 rushing yards nine times this season, and enters next season with a streak of five straight 100-yard performances. The Griffin, Ga., product accounted for 15 of WKU’s 21 rushing touchdowns on the season, finishing with two scores in six games. He also finished 11th in the nation, averaging 156.58 all-purpose yards in 2010.