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Marshall Running Back Devon Johnson Named to Maxwell Award Watch List

Devon Johnson took the nation by storm in 2014 with his bullish-style of running. In 2015, the nation is taking notice after the senior was placed on the watch list for the award given to the College Player of the Year.

Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

Devon Johnson's performance in 2014 was nothing short of being "Rock" solid. The converted tight end turned running back, known to Herd fans as "Rockhead", tallied 1,767 yards on 206 carries in 2014 with 17 rushing touchdowns. It the most for a Herd back since Ahmad Bradshaw's 19 rushing touchdowns in 2006.

Last season, Johnson made the semi-finalist list for the Doak Walker award given to the nation's best running back and was an All-Conference USA first team selection. Earlier today, Johnson was named to the Maxwell Award watch list-- given to the College Player of the Year-- presented by the Maxwell Football Club. The Philadelphia based club has presented the annual award since 1937 and recognized 80 on the watch list.

Johnson's body of work in his first full season as a running back was good for second all-time in a single season, second only to Chris Parker's 1,833 yards in 1995. Johnson posted 10 games of over 100 or more yards including a school-record 272 yards against FAU (Oct. 25). The then junior rushed for 198 yards and 199 yards in wins over Old Dominion (Oct. 4) and Rice (Nov. 15) respectively.

Known for his punishing style of play, Johnson also had a knack for the big play with seven of his carries going for over 50 yards, fourth best in the nation. In the win over FAU, Johnson scored on Marshall's first play of the game—a 58-yard rush—including scoring runs of 62 and 66. He added a career-long 75-yard run in the win at UAB (Nov. 22).

Johnson sat in the top 10 in the nation in rushing yards last season before a knee injury at Southern Miss sidelined him for much of the remainder of the regular season. Johnson returned to full-strength in Marshall's bowl win over NIU with his 10th 100-yard game of the season. The mark tied the Marshall record set three times by Parker (1993, '94, '95) during the Herd's Division I-AA seasons.