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Tom Smart, Deseret News
USU running back Joe Hill during Utah State Aggies football practice Thursday, March 28, 2013, in Logan. Hill has been named a candidate for the Doak Walker Award.

The watch list for the nation's top running back was announced Thursday morning, and Utah State rusher Joe Hill was named a candidate for the award.

A junior from Fullerton, Calif., Hill occupied the backup role to Kerwynn Williams during the 2012 campaign but saw significant action throughout the season. He played in 12 games for the Aggies, starting three, and finished the year with 269 yards on 43 carries (4.8 ypc) and seven touchdowns. He was also an active receiver, hauling in 18 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns.

Hill's best game as a rusher came against Southern Utah in 2012. In that contest, Hill recorded 116 yards on 11 carries (10.5 ypc) and three touchdowns. Through the air, Hill's best game was against UNLV — the whiteout game. He caught three passes for 88 yards, one of which was for 65 yards. He also scored a touchdown in USU's victory over Utah in 2012.

Hill is listed first on the Aggie depth chart and is slated to be the featured back for the 2013 season.

Hill's nomination for the Doak Walker Award makes him the seventh Aggie to be nominated for a college football award. Overall, USU football players have been nominated for eight different awards.

Hill is also one of 17 players from Utah FBS programs to be nominated for a college football award. See them all here.

The Doak Walker award, in its 24th year, highlights the nation's top running back in college football and is named for Southern Methodist University's three-time All-America running back Doak Walker.

Landon Hemsley is the sports web producer for DeseretNews.com. Email: lhemsley@deseretnews.com. @EarlOfHemsley