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Wisconsin Football: Can Braelon Allen Win the Doak Walker Award?



Wisconsin football running back Braelon Allen
Oct 22, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Braelon Allen (0) rushes for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Purdue Boilermakers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin football program has a storied history of standout running backs, from Ron Dayne to Melvin Gordon to Jonathan Taylor and many more. 

Since the Doak Walker Award’s inception in 1990, no school has had more award winners than Wisconsin. UW running backs have won the prestigious award five times, with winners including Ron Dayne (1999), Montee Ball (2012), Melvin Gordon (2014), and Jonathan Taylor (2018 & 2019). 

Wisconsin has had a track record of producing top running back talent. The current RB1, Braelon Allen, is poised for a breakout year under the new offensive system. With that in mind, could Allen be the next Badger to take home the Doak Walker Award?

Will Braelon Allen be the next Wisconsin football program’s next Doak Walker Award recipient?

Of course, when you think about the air raid system, the first thing that comes to mind is the passing game. However, it often gets lost in the conversation how much the scheme helps the running backs.

Allen has been running into packed boxes for his entire time with the Wisconsin football program thus far. Still, the junior put up some ridiculous production considering the circumstances. 

According to Pro Football Focus, Allen registered 847 yards against 8+ man boxes in 2022, which led all running backs. Facing less packed boxes will allow Allen to get downhill and power through opposing defenses. The 6-foot-2, 235-pound tailback has been a bruiser in his first two seasons, and now that he’ll be able to get up to speed, he will be a problem at the second level.

Allen has rushed for over 1,200 yards in both of his first two seasons with Wisconsin, along with 11 touchdowns in his freshman campaign and 12 in his sophomore year. With a more spread-out offense, those numbers should balloon even higher.

It’s also worth noting that Phil Longo has only had one season where a tailback did not reach 1,000 yards. With Allen’s talent and track record of putting up big numbers, he should easily eclipse 1,000 and potentially even his career high. 

Final Thoughts

Braelon Allen will be one of the biggest benefactors of the new offensive system. 

If Allen finally reaches his full potential, he could be the sixth Doak Walker Award winner in the Wisconsin football program’s history in what will likely be his final season in Madison. 

Football season is just over two months away, and it could be a big year for the Wisconsin native.

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Jake Maier is the managing editor and publisher at He has provided coaching and editorial support to numerous writers in his role, contributing significantly to the platform's growth. His expertise extends to Wisconsin Badgers football, basketball, and recruiting coverage. Jake's previous bylines can be found at Fansided and Wisconsin Sports Heroics.