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Illinois running back Josh Ferguson named to 2015 Doak Walker Award watch list

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Illini senior is among eight Big Ten players on the preseason watch list, given to the nation's top running back.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois senior running back Josh Ferguson was named to the 2015 Doak Walker Award preseason watch list Thursday, an award which is presented annually to the nation's top college running back.

Ferguson rushed for 735 yards and hauled in an additional 427 receiving yards with a combined 10 touchdowns last season. In his career, he has totaled 3,486 all-purpose yards, which ranks him sixth in program history. He is one of only three active FBS players with more than 1,500 career rushing and 1,000 career receiving yards.

The Naperville, Ill. native is one of eight Big Ten running backs on the 69-man watch list, including Indiana's Jordan Howard, Iowa's Jordan Canzeri, Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliot, Northwestern's Justin Jackson, Penn State's Akeel Lynch, Rutgers' Paul James and Wisconsin's Corey Clement.

Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon won the award last season, beating out Nebrask'as Ameer Abdullah and Indiana's Tevin Coleman. A Big Ten player has earned the award seven times, but no Illini has done so.

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