USC’s Justin Davis, Tre Madden make Doak Walker Watch List


USC running backs Justin Davis and Tre Madden were both listed on the 2015 Doak Walker Award watch list as candidates to be named the premier running back in college football.

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Davis was the back up to Buck Allen in 2014, gaining 595 yards on 129 carries with an average of 4.6 yards per carry and four touchdowns.

The junior’s best games of the season came against Oregon State, Colorado and Notre Dame but he never quite lived up to the stellar beginning of his career when he led the Trojans with six touchdowns through the first seven games of 2013 before going down injured.

Now a co-starter at running back, Davis is poised to be the lightning of USC’s rushing attack.

Madden has not seen the field for the Trojans since 2013, but what he did that year in the first six games of the season put him in rare company. He was the first USC player to open a season with three consecutive rushing performances of over 100 yards since Marcus Allen in 1981. He hit the 100-yard mark in four of USC’s first five games, and barely missed it in the other game with 93 yards.

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A nagging hamstring injury slowed Madden in the second half of 2013 and then a turf toe injury kept him out for the entirety of the 2014.

He returns to the line up as a co-starter alongside Davis. With his powerful rushing style, Madden is being pegged as the Thunder to Davis’ Lightning.

Both Trojans have enough talent to be in the mix for the Doak Walker award, but injury concerns plague both heading into the season.

The first and only player to take home the award was Reggie Bush in 2005.

Joining Davis and Madden on the watch list are fellow Pac-12 players Davontae Booker of Utah, Daniel Lasco of Cal, Christian McCaffrey of Stanford, Paul Perkins of UCLA, Christian Powell of Colorado, Demario Richard of Arizona State, Royce Freeman and Thomas Tyner of Oregon, Dwayne Washington of Washington and Nick Wilson of Arizona.