A trio of Nittany Lions were named to the Doak Walker Award watch list on Wednesday. Junior Noah Cain, sophomore Keyvone Lee, and senior John Lovett all earned recognition for the award that goes to the nation's top back.
Cain was once again bit by the injury bug in 2020. After a promising freshman campaign, Cain suffered a season-ending injury during the early stages of the season opening loss to Indiana. After losing Journey Brown to a career-ending heart ailment, Cain was expected to see the bulk of the carries. It seems like forever since we have seen a healthy Cain, who set the Penn State freshman touchdown record with eight back in 2019. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry and amassed 443 yards with his tenacious running as a true freshman.
Going into 2020, Keyvone Lee seemed to be a player that may not see a ton of action. However after losing both Brown and Cain, Lee and fellow freshman Caziah Holmes were thrust into action. Both players filled in admirably, but it was Lee that stood out. He led the Nittany Lions with 438 yards on 89 carries and added four touchdowns. His 22 carry, 134 yard performance against Michigan was the game that put him on the map.
Lovett arrived in Happy Valley as a transfer from Baylor earlier this year. The former three-star prospect out of New Jersey was a one-time recruiting target for the Lions. Ironically, his decision to commit to Baylor opened up a spot that ultimately went to Brown. During his four seasons in Waco, Lovett rushed for over 1,800 yards and 17 touchdowns.