Kansas State junior running back Alex Barnes was one of 85 players nationally – including one of eight Big 12 players – to be named to the watch list for the 2018 Maxwell Award as the college player of the year, the Maxwell Football Club announced Monday.
Barnes’ inclusion on the list marks the eighth time a Wildcat has been up for the award, including the second-straight year (Jesse Ertz). Michael Bishop (1998),Collin Klein (2012) were both finalists for the honor, while Jake Waters (2014) was a semifinalist.
A Preseason All-Big 12 pick by Athlon and Phil Steele, Barnes accumulated 819 yards and seven touchdowns on 146 carries in 2017. He started all 13 games, the first Wildcat running back to start at least 13 games in a season since Darren Sproles in 2003. His 819 yards ranked fourth in school history among sophomores, while he finished fifth in K-State history in single-season rushing yards per carry (5.61).
Barnes’ sophomore campaign put him over the career 1,000-yard barrier (1,261) as he became the second-fastest player in school history to 1,000 career rushing yards in terms of carries (152), just five behind Sproles (147). He enters his junior season ranked first in school history in career rushing yards per carry at 6.24, while he is 23rd in career rushing yards.