Coleman Named Doak Walker Finalist

Indiana running back Tevin Coleman might be getting his “just due” as Kevin Wilson predicted in his press conference Monday afternoon. Coleman, a junior from Tinley Park, Illinois, was named one of three finalists for the prestigious Doak Walker Award that is given annually to the nation’s top running back on Tuesday.

Coleman joins fellow Big Ten running backs Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin and Ameer Abdullah of Nebraska and became the second Hoosier ever (Von Dunbar) named a finalist.

This is the 25th year that the Doak Walker Award winner will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards on December 11 at Walt Disney World.

2014 has been a season for the ages for the Hoosier running back, as he has become the school’s leading rusher with 1,906 yards, which is also good for second nationally. Coleman has had 10 games with at least 100 yards and has reached the end zone 15 times in 11 games. Coleman is racking up numbers despite defenses gearing up for the run since quarterback Nate Sudfeld went down on October 11 at Iowa. Most recently Coleman ran for 228 yards and three scores at Ohio State, setting the record for most rushing yards at Ohio Stadium.

Coleman’s accomplishments have gone under the radar since he is playing for a Hoosier squad that is 3-8. Head coach Kevin Wilson has been vocal about the lack of coverage his running back has gotten on the national level, but praises his play saying, “His ability for the home run play is legit. It’s week after week, it’s a couple years’ worth. I kind of hate last year, there was a couple games he missed with a high ankle sprain caused him not to be a 12, 13, 1,400 back a year ago, and now he’s going to back it up.”

As someone who has watched this young man every week for the last couple of years,what he is doing really is amazing for any level. Week after week he scores on long runs, and he makes them look routine. According to Indiana University, he is leading the country in runs of 20- yards (10), 30- (9), 40- (8), 50- (6) and 60- (5), and he is tied for the top spot in 70- (3), 80- (2) and 90-yard (1) TD runs.

Coleman is 94 yards shy of becoming just the 18th player in FBS history to hit the 2,000-yard mark. He has a terrific chance to do that against rival Purdue in the Old Oaken Bucket game on Saturday. The game is at noon and will be televised on the Big Ten Network. In what could be his last game as a college football player, I suggest you tune in to see this guy run if you have not been paying attention the last couple of years.

*Section Photo credit to Michael Hickey, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Jeremy Hogan, Herald Times

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