Despite suffering a foot injury that is expected to keep him out of at least the first two weeks of action, Ohio State running back Jordan Hall was honored on Thursday when he was named as a member of the watch list for the Doak Walker Award.
Presented by Southern Methodist University, the award is given annually to college football's top running back who is in good academic standing and scheduled to graduate within one year of his eligibility classification. Since its inception in 1990, only Eddie George (1995) has won the award while playing for Ohio State.
Primarily used as a kick returner in his first three seasons at Ohio State, Hall was named by coach Urban Meyer as the team's No. 1 playmaker at the end of spring camp. The senior running back rushed for 405 yards and two touchdowns in 2011, while adding 114 yards and three touchdowns as a receiver. In the spring, he was primarily used in the running back-wide receiver hybrid position in Meyer's offense.
Hall's road to stardom, however, hit a snag on June 27 when he injured his foot by accidentally stepping on a piece of glass. The cut required Hall to undergo surgery two days later that is expected to keep the 5-foot-9, 195-pound runner out of action for approximately the next seven weeks.
Considering the progress that Hall has made since Meyer arrived last November, the Ohio State coach was disappointed when he heard of his starting running back's injury.
"That was a tough injury, especially for a guy that's turned the corner academically. He had a 3.4 GPA last semester, he had a 3.0 GPA our first quarter together. He's on my leadership committee," Meyer said. "The guy's tremendous."
Other players from the Big Ten named to the 52-member watch list include Wisconsin's Montee Ball and James White, Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell, Nebraska's Rex Burkhead, Penn State's Silas Redd, and Michigan's Fitzgerald Toussaint.
Semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award will be announced on Nov. 9, with three finalists being named on Nov. 19. The award will then be presented on Dec. 6 as a part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN.
Other Buckeyes named to watch lists this offseason include quaterback Braxton Miller (Maxwell Award, Davey O'Brien Award), defensive end John Simon (Bednarik Award, Nagurski Trophy, Lombardi Award), defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (Bednarik Award, Nagurski Trophy, Outland Trophy, Lombardi Award), tight end Jake Stoneburner (Mackey Award, Lombardi Award), kicker Drew Basil (Groza Award), safety C.J. Barnett, linebacker Etienne Sabino (Butkus Award), and wide receiver Corey Brown (Biletnikoff Award).