Gophers Running Back, Mohamed Ibrahim, Named to Doak Walker Watch List

Photo Credit: Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports

University of Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Walker Award, Wednesday. The award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top running back, continues a trend of Gophers who are gaining national attention.

According to the University of Minnesota, Ibrahim ranks 24th all-time in career rushing with 1,764 yards. This is despite only playing in 21 career games. When you have a 5.58 (7th in school history) yards per carry average, that total will add up quickly.


This has been a long time coming for Ibrahim. After two years of splitting time with Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks, he’ll finally get his chance to takeover as the undisputed number one back.

Mo’s freshman year showed signs of what he was capable of. He busted out for 1,160 yards (2nd most by a freshman Gopher) and nine touchdowns on only 217 attempts, while filling in for injured Smith and Brooks. That year included five games of 100+ yards, making him the first Gopher to do so since Laurence Maroney in 2003.

His sophomore campaign “took a step back” because Rodney Smith was back and healthy. Shannon Brooks even made appearances throughout the season. Even when he was playing second and third fiddle, he managed 604 yards and 7 touchdowns on 114 carries. Now that Smith and Brooks have finally run out of eligibility, Ibrahim will get as many carries as he can handle.

Numbers may have slipped in 2019 but he was still critical in helping the Gophers to an 11-2 record. When things mattered the most, PJ Fleck and Co. went to Mo. He rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown in their Outback Bowl win over (#12) Auburn. That only added to his record-breaking bowl game performances. He holds the school record for rushing yards in bowl games, with 364 yards (140 vs. Auburn in 2020; 224 vs. Georgia Tech in 2018).

Expect Mo Ibrahim to become the workhorse back of a potent offense. One that includes quarterback Tanner Morgan (Heisman and O’Brien candidate) and wide receiver Rashod Bateman (Pre-season All-American).

With those three leading the way, the Gophers could crash the College Football Playoff and definitely vy for a Rose Bowl birth, if they can just be the last team standing in the Big Ten West.

Jack Kewitsch | Minnesota Sports Fan