2003 DOAK WALKER AWARD CANDIDATES ANNOUNCED
DALLAS, TEXAS - The SMU Athletic Forum announced today the names of the 39 preseason candidates for the 2003 Doak Walker Award, awarded annually to the nation's top college running back.
Among the field of candidates is Northern Illinois senior Michael Turner who is the nation's leading returning rusher with 1,915 yards last season. He ranked second in the nation averaging 159.6 yards per game last year. Steven Jackson of Oregon State had 1,690 yards and 15 TDs in 2002 and finished eighth in the nation in rushing. Iowa's Fred Russell led the Big 10 Champion Hawkeyes with 1,264 yards rushing last year and finished 14th in the nation.
The complete list of candidates, who were nominated by their universities, follows:
Candidates for the 2003 Doak Walker Award
"We have another outstanding list of candidates for the Doak Walker Award. It should be a very exciting college football season, and we look forward to watching the progress of each of these student-athletes this fall," said Randall Goss, chair of the SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors.
The SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will select eight semifinalists on November 19, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will vote on the winner in late November. The National Selection Committee consists of former NFL All-Pro and college All-America running backs, print and electronic media members and selected special representatives.
The recipient of the 2003 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on ESPN along with other NCFAA member awards on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 11, 2003. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held at The Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, February 12, 2004.
Former Penn State running back Larry Johnson, currently with the Kansas City Chiefs, won the 2002 Doak Walker Award.
The SMU Athletic Forum, the presenting entity for the Doak Walker Award, produces four annual luncheons and is widely regarded as America's preeminent sports luncheon series. Sponsors of the Forum include PricewaterhouseCoopers, American Airlines, The Dallas Morning News, AFLAC, Guaranty Bank and The Texas Rangers.