Included among the pre-season nominees are 2011 Walker Award winner Montee Ball of Wisconsin, as well as three of last year’s semifinalists - Rex Burkhead (Nebraska), Zach Line (SMU) and Joseph Randle (Oklahoma State).
Former Oregon All-American LaMichael James won the award in 2010 and was one of three finalists for the honor a year ago.
Barner complemented James each of the past three seasons, with the Riverside, Calif., standout rushing for 939 yards in 2011. He also was third on the team in all-purpose yards, averaging 102.7 yards per game, and enters his final season ninth on the Ducks’ career ledger (3,825 yards).
He was previously named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, which is given to the nation’s outstanding college football player.
Semifinalists for the award will be identified on Nov. 9, with finalists to be announced Nov. 26. The recipient of the award, named after SMU three-time All-America running back Doak Walker, will be announced Dec. 6 as part of ESPN’s Home Depot College Football Awards show in Orlando, Fla.
-- goducks. com --