Sunday, December 21, 2014

Penn State's Belton, Zwinak on Doak Walker Award watch list

Penn State seniors Bill Belton and Zach Zwinak have been named to the preseason watch list for the Doak Walker Award given to the nation's top running back.

Penn State's Belton, Zwinak on Doak Walker Award watch list

Penn State running back Bill Belton. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)
Penn State running back Bill Belton. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Three seniors with ties to the Philadelphia area - Bill Belton of Penn State, Kenneth Harper of Temple and Raymond Maples of Army - have been named to the preseason watch list for the Doak Walker Award given to the nation's top running back, it was announced Thursday.

Belton, who played his high school football at Winslow Township in Camden County, was joined on the watch list by his Nittany Lions teammate, Zach Zwinak. Penn State is one of eight teams to have two running backs on the Walker list.

The Doak Walker Award, which is presented by the SMU Athletic Forum, honors achievement in the classroom and contributions to the community in addition to on-field performance.

The 5-foot-10, 204-pound Belton rushed for a career-high 803 yards last season. He gained 201 yards in a win last November over Illinois, the first Lion to reach the 200-yard plateau since Larry Johnson in 2002.

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Harper, a 6-foot, 225-pounder from Gainesville, Fla., scored 11 touchdowns for the Owls last season while picking up 613 yards on the ground.

The 6-foot-1, 218-pound Maples, who starred at West Catholic, posted back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons in 2011 and 2012, becoming just the third player in Army history to do that. However, he suffered a groin injury in the third game of last season and didn't play again, but he received a fifth year of eligibility from the NCAA.

Zwinak, a 233-pound senior from Frederick, Md., fell just short of racking up his second straight 1,000-yard season with the Nittany Lions, rushing last year for 989 yards and 12 touchdowns.

 

About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 20 years, covering college sports, golf and the Penn Relays.

Joining Joe this season will be John Stuetz, an intern for The Inquirer and senior at Penn State majoring in print journalism and marketing. This is John's third season covering the Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A native of Glenside, Montgomery County, John graduated from Cheltenham High School.

For Joe, this will be his fifth season on the paper's Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976 to 1984.

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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