Helu Jr. was Nebraska's leading rusher during the 2008 season, churning out 803 yards and seven touchdowns. The 6-0, 215-pound Helu also averaged 6.4 yards per carry, the best per carry average by a Husker runner in seven seasons. He capped his season in strong fashion, rushing for more than 100 yards three times in the month of November, helping Nebraska finish with victories in each of its final four games.
Helu is one of 45 running backs on the Doak Walker Award Watch List, including seven backs from the Big 12 Conference. In addition to Helu, other Big 12 players on the list include Chris Brown and DeMarco Murrary of Oklahoma, Texas Tech's Baron Batch, Cyrus Gray of Texas A&M, Oklahoma State's Kendall Hunter and Jake Sharp of Kansas.
The semifinalists for the award will be determined on Nov. 11, with the three finalists announced on Nov. 23. The winner of the award will be announced on the ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Thursday, Dec. 10. The award is in its 20th season and is named for SMU's three-time All-America running back Doak Walker.