South Carolina football: Kevin Harris snubbed for Doak Walker Award

South Carolina running back Kevin Harris (20) rushes in for a touchdown.Gw43033
South Carolina running back Kevin Harris (20) rushes in for a touchdown.Gw43033 /

South Carolina football’s Kevin Harris deserves a spot on the Doak Walker award list.

The Doak Walker Award is given annually to the nation’s top running back, and on Monday afternoon, the 10 semifinalists for the 2020 trophy were announced. There was one name egregiously missing from the list. And the stats truly do tell the story.

South Carolina’s Kevin Harris, the SEC’s leading rusher, was nowhere to be found. Harris, who ranks third nationally with 1,138 yards on the ground, and fifth in the nation with 15 touchdowns scored, all while competing against all-SEC defenses, somehow was not considered to be one of the top players at the position in 2020.

The sophomore averaged 6.2 yards per carry, which leads ALL running backs with at least 150 carries, and will be a new school record. He notched two, 200-yard games, five games of at least 100 yards, and scored a touchdown in all but two contests. The Georgia native also tallied 21 catches for 159 yards and a score, displaying his versatility.

Obviously, his being on a two-win team was the deciding factor, since there’s absolutely no other explanation for his being left off the list. But should that really sway the voters?

One could argue that it makes his case even stronger. Harris didn’t have the help that some of the other “stars” on the list have the luxury of playing with. The Gamecocks struggled with injuries and opt outs at the receiver position, went through a quarterback change mid year, and finished with the nation’s 99th ranked offense.

Still, Harris remained a steady presence in the South Carolina backfield. It seems this award needs a complete overhaul, as it’s become more of a popularity contest than a recognition based on merit.

Kevin Harris deserves a seat at the table.