- Austin Ward, ESPN Staff Writer
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The season is finally getting closer. The release of preseason watch lists for the major college football awards confirms it, and with a full week of candidates already announced and more to come, BuckeyeNation will break them all down to see which Ohio State representatives have a shot at bringing home some hardware.
DOAK WALKER AWARD
WHAT: The nation's premier running back
ON THE LIST: Ohio State projected starter Jordan Hall
CREDENTIALS: The senior has relatively modest career numbers coming off a junior campaign during which he ran for 405 yards, added 114 more as a receiver and finished with five total touchdowns. But his combination of speed and elusiveness impressed new coach Urban Meyer and the offensive staff during spring practice, and Hall was listed on top of the depth chart heading into the summer. Even though he's expected to miss the first two games after surgery on his foot, the versatile weapon is still listed in the No. 1 spot on the two-deep.
HEAD TO HEAD: Showcase opportunities against other rushers up for preseason consideration -- Montee Ball (Wisconsin), Le'Veon Bell (Michigan State), Rex Burkhead (Nebraska), Latavius Murray (Central Florida), Silas Redd (Penn State), Isi Sofele (California), Fitzgerald Toussaint (Michigan), James White (Wisconsin)
ODDS: Hall's fluky offseason injury won't do him any favors since he'll be falling behind statistically right off the bat -- and the competition will be stiffer when he returns and tries to acclimate himself again in the offense. When healthy, Hall figures to do plenty of damage as Meyer deploys the senior as both a rusher and receiver in the famed pivot position. In his absence, Carlos Hyde should get most of the work in the backfield and could potentially play his way into consideration depending on how he handles the early opportunity.