BYU sophomore Harvey Unga, New Mexico senior Rodney Ferguson, TCU junior Joseph Turner, UNLV senior Frank Summers and Utah senior Darrell Mack are among the 43 candidates listed on the watch list for the 2008 Doak Walker Award, announced today by the Guaranty Bank SMU Athletic Forum. The award is presented annually to the nation's top college running back.
The Mountain West tied with Conference USA and the SEC for the second-most individuals named to the list. The Big Ten led all conferences with six representatives.
Unga set MWC freshman records for rushing and all-purpose yardage with 1,227 and 1,882 yards, respectively, last season. The Provo, Utah, product averaged 5.0 yards per carry and finished with 17 touchdowns overall.
Ferguson became the third player in MWC history to record back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, leading the Lobos with 1,177 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2007. The Albuquerque, N.M., native averaged 4.0 yards per carry and ended with 14 touchdowns overall.
Turner topped the Horned Frogs with 597 yards rushing in 2007, despite missing three games due to injury. Averaging 5.2 yards per carry, the Austin, Texas, native also had a team-high six touchdowns.
Summers became the first Rebel in history to lead his team in both rushing and receiving touchdowns in the same season with six and four, respectively, in 2007. The Oakland, Calif., product led UNLV with 928 yards on the ground, averaging 4.6 yards per carry.
Mack recorded the third-highest single-season rushing tally in Ute history with 1,204 yards last season. The Spring Valley, Calif., native averaged 4.8 yards per carry and finished with 12 touchdowns.
The Guaranty Bank SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will select the semifinalists on November 10, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the finalists, who will be announced on November 24. The committee will cast a second vote beginning on December 1 to determine the recipient. The National Selection Committee consists of former NFL All-Pro and college All-America running backs, media members and selected special representatives.
The recipient of the 2008 Doak Walker Award will be announced Thursday, December 11. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held at The Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas, on Friday, February 6, 2009.
The award, in its 19th year, is named for SMU's three-time All-America running back Doak Walker. It is the only major collegiate award that requires all candidates to be in good academic standing and on schedule to graduate within one year of other students of the same classification. Former BYU standout Luke Staley won the award in 2001, while former TCU standout and current NFL star LaDainian Tomlinson received the award in 2000.
|**2008 Doak Walker Award Watch List**|
|**Rodney Ferguson**||**Sr.**||**New Mexico**|
|Reggie Arnold||Jr.||Arkansas State|
|Andre Brown||Sr.||North Carolina State|
|Mike Davis||Sr.||South Carolina|
|Anthony Dixon||Jr.||Mississippi State|
|Jonathan Dwyer||So.||Georgia Tech|
|Jamelle Eugene||Jr.||North Carolina State|
|Tyrell Fenroy||Sr.||Louisiana Lafayette|
|Damion Flecther||Jr.||Southern Mississippi|
|Mike Goodson||Jr.||Texas A&M|
|Keegan Herring||Sr.||Arizona State|
|Eugene Jarvis||Jr.||Kent State|
|Ian Johnson||Sr.||Boise State|
|Jorvorskie Lane||Sr.||Texas A&M|
|Greg Little||So.||North Carolina|
|Javon Ringer||Sr.||Michigan State|
|Chris Wells||Jr.||Ohio State|