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De’Veon Smith named to 2016 Doak Walker Award watch list

Michigan running back Chris Perry won the award in 2003.

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Michigan vs Florida Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

De’Veon Smith has been named to the 2016 Doak Walker Award watch list. The award is handed out to the best running back in the nation.

To win the award, the player must be in good academic standing and on schedule to graduate within one ear of the students in their eligibility classification.

"De'Veon Smith is the clearcut starting tailback," Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh told Nick Baumgardner of MLive. "But he's the first one in there no matter what drill we're doing. If it's a live drill, he doesn't shy away. If we're tackling, he's in there."

Smith was named an All-Big Ten honorable mention last season and had 180 carries for 753 yards and six touchdowns. Through the air, Smith caught 19 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown. It was his best season as a member of the Wolverines.

The 2015 winner was Derrick Henry of Alabama. In 1990, Greg Lewis from Washington took home the trophy. Since then, winners have involved LaDainian Tomlinson (2000), Reggie Bush (2005), Darren McFadden (2006, 2007), Trent Richardson (2011), Montee Ball (2012) and Melvin Gordon (2014). Michigan running back Chris Perry won the award in 2003.

The award will be cut down to 10 players on November 16, three finalists on November 22 and the winner will be announced during the Home Depot College Football Awards on December 8.