The Mountain West Conference has been gifted this season with three really good running backs. San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey, Wyoming’s Brian Hill, and Boise State’s Jeremy McNichols.
Each running back is listed as a Doak Walker Award semi-finalist. The award recognizes college football’s best running back.
Throughout the season each one of these MWC running backs has shown they belong in the conversation.
Conf. Breakdown-Doak Walker Award Semifinalists
Mountain West: 3
Big 10 : 1
Big 12: 1
PAC 12: 1
Conference USA: 1
There is no doubt, the conference running backs are getting some major respect by the national media. So much so that even San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey is being thrown into the Heisman award mix.
The Las Vegas native is 5-foot-9, 180 pounds and has rushed for 1,779 yards and 14 touchdowns in his senior year.
His biggest game of the season was against PAC 12 member Cal. The Bears defense has been suspect during the season, but never the less, an impressive performance.
Pumphrey ran for 281 yards in that game, averaging 9.7 yards per carry and scoring three touchdowns in the game.
He also did some work in the receiving category with 29 yards, bringing his total to over 300 yards in the Aztecs lone victory against a P5 school.
— Steve Peterson (@Stevo_is_Sith) September 11, 2016
Pumphrey has shattered school records, and continues to be getting stronger and stronger as the season goes on. Up to this point he has not had a game under 100 yards since the first game of the season where he had 98 yards.
He’s surpassed the 200-yard rushing mark 4 times this season. If he’s being thrown into the Heisman conversation, shouldn’t Boise State’s Jeremy McNichols?
The bias answer? Yes.
McNichols, the junior from Long Beach, California has a couple of hundred yards less than Pumphrey but has 22 rushing touchdowns to Pumphrey’s current 14. That’s not the only thing McNichols has an advantage over
*Numbers to change after SDSU – Wyoming game*
The McWeapon has advantages in rushing touchdowns, receiving catches, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and total touchdowns. Which makes one wonder why McNichols is probably the least talked about running back in the country.
If there is anyone that knows the running back position well, it’s the guy that is running all over NFL defenses. None other than Jay Ajayi.
YOU CANT TELL ME HES NOT THE BEST RB IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL. I don't care. @TheWeapon13 ?☝?️
— Jay Ajayi (@JayTrain23) October 21, 2016
McNichols is performing so well, that has the opportunity to break the Boise State’s single-season most rushing yards. Breaking none other than his mentor’s record, Mr. Jay Ajayi.
He is only 248 yards from breaking the record, and has at least two more games in the 2016 season to surpass Ajayi.
When considering players for the Heisman trophy, Pumphrey’s name is well-earned and respected.
But if you name Pumphrey as a possible finalist, you have to throw in McNichols’ name into the mix.
Last night’s performance from McNichols solidified that notion.