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BYU running back Jamaal Williams, left, and Utah State running back Joe Hill were named to the Doak Walker Award watch list on Thursday.

BYU's Jamaal Williams and Utah State's Joe Hill were named to the 53-man Doak Walker Award watch list announced Thursday morning.

The Doak Walker Award, given out annually to the nation's top college football running back, will be awarded on Dec. 11 during the "The Home Depot College Football Awards" show. Semifinalists will be announced on Nov. 18, with finalists named on Nov. 24.

Williams, a junior, has rushed for 2,008 yards and 19 touchdowns in his Cougar career, including 1,233 yards and seven touchdowns last season. In 2012, Williams' totals of 166 carries, 775 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns set BYU true freshman rushing marks.

Hill, a senior, started five games for the Aggies in 2013 before a knee injury ended his season. In his Utah State career, which includes eight starts, Hill has rushed for 566 yards and nine touchdowns and caught 25 passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns.

Both Williams and Hill were named to the Doak Walker Award watch list last season.

Headlining this year's Doak Walker Award watch list is Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah, the nation's leading returning rusher. Also on the list are Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon and South Carolina's Mike Davis, who were both semifinalists for last year's award.

Email: bjudd@deseretnews.com; Twitter: @brandonljudd