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Arizona RB Michael Wiley named to Doak Walker preseason watch list

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arizona-wildcats-michael-riley-running-back-doak-walker-preseason-watch-football-2021-pac12 Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After spending two seasons as an understudy to JJ Taylor and Gary Brightwell, Michael Wiley is poised to become Arizona’s go-to running back in 2021. In anticipation of a potential breakout season, a national college football award is recognizing this possibility.

Wiley has been named to the preseason watch list for the Doak Walker Award, given to college football’s top running back.

A second-year sophomore, Wiley has run for 328 yards in 17 career games, including two starts. He had 222 yards and three touchdowns on just 31 carries in five games last season, with a career-best 122 yards against Colorado.

Wiley, who sat out most of spring practice while nursing minor injuries, is competing against sophomores Bam Smith and Drake Anderson, the latter a transfer from Northwestern, as well as freshmen James Bohls, Jalen John and Stevie Rocker Jr. for the starting job.

Arizona begins training camp on Aug. 6, with the 2021 season opener set for Sept. 4 vs. BYU in Las Vegas.