By Danielle Daniels
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – After bursting onto the scene as a walk-on freshman last year, Purdue running back Devin Mockobee was named to the Doak Walker Award Watch List heading into the 2023 season.
Mockobee is the first Boilermaker running back to land on the Doak Walker Award Watch List since Markell Jones made the list prior to the 2016 season. The Doak Walker Award, named after the three-time All-America running back, is presented annually to the nation’s top college running back.
Flying under the radar as a walk-on, Mockobee turned heads in the running back room and on the field to claim the starting job near the halfway mark of the 2022 season. The Boonville, Indiana, native led the team with a Purdue freshman record 968 rushing yards to go along with nine touchdowns, averaging 5.0 yards per carry. He was named Freshman All-America Honorable Mention by College Football News, while collecting Honorable Mention All-Big Ten accolades as well.
Mockobee earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors twice, helping Purdue win conference contests over Nebraska and Indiana. His 178 rushing yards against the Cornhuskers set a new single-game record for a Purdue freshman. He put up 112 rushing yards on 11 carries in a victory at Minnesota, icing the game with a 68-yard run in the fourth quarter which marked the longest rush by Purdue since 2018. The young Boilermaker eclipsed 100 rushing yards four times throughout 2022, all in Big Ten games, as Purdue captured the first Big Ten West title in program history.
The strong 2022 season stuck out to new head coach Ryan Walters when he arrived in December. In his first team meetingn as leader of the Boilermakers, Walters put Mockobee on scholarship.
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