2013 Doak Walker Award Candidates Announced
Seven MAC Student-Athletes Represented on Doak Walker Award Watch List
DALLAS, TEXAS - The PwC SMU Athletic Forum announced today the preseason candidates for the 2013 Doak Walker Award. The award is presented annually to the nation’s top college running
back. Representing the MAC are seven student-athletes, including: Dri Archer and Trayion Durham of Kent State; Beau Blankenship of Ohio; Jahwan Edwards of Ball State; David Fluellen of Toledo; Branden Oliver of Buffalo and Zurlon Tipton of Central Michigan.
Archer came storming back in 2012 after sitting out the 2011 season, with a Kent State single-season record 23 touchdowns (16 rushing, 4 receiving, 3 kick returns). His 9.0 yards per carry led the nation as did his 36.9 yards per kick return.
Blankenship garnered Second Team accolades in 2012 after he was named to the All-MAC Second Team and Phil Steele All-MAC First Team following a breakout 2012 campaign. During his junior season, Blankenship rushed for a single-season school record 1,604 yards on the ground. He also rushed for 15 touchdowns, four of which came in the Independence Bowl, which tied the single bowl game record as he went on to earn Co-Offensive MVP honors with his high school teammate, Tyler Tettleton.
Edwards rushed for 1,410 yards on 232 attempts and 14 rushing touchdowns as only a sophomore for Ball State last season. Edwards ranked sixth in the MAC in rushing yards last season as Ball State posted a 9-4 overall record and an invitation to the Beef O'Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl.
Durham rushed for 1,316 yards on 276 carries for a 4.8 average and 14 rushing touchdowns as only a sophomore for Kent State last season. Durham was part of an offensive attack that led the Golden Flashes to a perfect 8-0 conference record and a 11-3 overall record and an invite to the GoDaddy.com Bowl.
Fluellen rushed for 1,498 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior, finishing eighth in the nation with a 124.8 yards per game average. He was a Doak Walker Award semifinalist (top 10). Three times he rushed for over 200 yards in a game, including 228 vs. Buffalo on Oct. 27.
Oliver fought through an injury-plagued campaign in 2012, but still led the Bulls in rushing with 821 yards in just seven games. The senior running back averaged 117.3 rushing yards per game in 2012 to rank fourth in the Mid-American Conference. Oliver averaged 5.5 yards per rush in 2012, the highest in his career.
Tipton burst onto the college football scene in 2012, putting together one of the greatest rushing seasons in Central Michigan football history. His 1,492 rushing yards, the most by a Chippewa running back in 16 years, are fourth all-time in the CMU single season record book and his average of 115.1 yards per game ranked No. 14 in the nation. He finished the season strong, recording seven straight 100-yard games, including a 101-yard effort in Central Michigan’s win over Western Kentucky in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Tipton was a regular in the end zone in 2012. His 19 rushing and 20 total touchdowns are tied for the second most ever by a Chippewa and his average of 9.2 points scored per game ranked him No. 20 in the NCAA in 2012.
The complete list of candidates, nominated by their universities:
Ameer Abdullah (Jr.), Nebraska
Michael Alisa (Sr.), BYU
Antonio Andrews (Sr.), Western Kentucky
Dri Archer (Sr.), Kent State
Brendan Bigelow (Jr.), California
Beau Blankenship (Sr.), Ohio
Alfred Blue (Sr.), LSU
Dominique Brown (Jr.), Louisville
Ka'Deem Carey (Jr.), Arizona
B.J. Catalon (So.), TCU
Orleans Darkwa (Sr.), Tulane
Kenneth Dixon (So.), Louisiana Tech
Trayion Durham (Jr.), Kent State
Jahwan Edwards (Jr.), Ball State
David Fluellen (Sr.), Toledo
D.J. Foster (So.), Arizona State
Melvin Gordon (So.), Wisconsin
Marion Grice (Sr.), Arizona State
Todd Gurley (So.), Georgia
Joe Hill (Jr.), Utah State
John Hubert (Sr.), Kansas State
Carlos Hyde (Sr.), Ohio State
Waymon James (Sr.), TCU
Duke Johnson (So.), Miami
Storm Johnson (Jr.), UCF
Matt Jones (So.), Florida
Henry Josey (Jr.), Missouri
Ben Malena (Sr.), Texas A&M
Raymond Maples (Sr.), Army
Venric Mark (Sr.), Northwestern
Keith Marshall (So.), Georgia
Glasco Martin (Sr.), Baylor
Tre Mason (Jr.), Auburn
Lyle McCombs (Jr.), Connecticut
Adam Muema (Jr.), San Diego State
David Oku (Sr.), Arkansas State
Branden Oliver (Sr.), Buffalo
Jordan Parker (So.), Middle Tennessee
LaDarius Perkins (Sr.), Mississippi State
Senorise Perry (Sr.), Louisville
Christian Powell (So.), Colorado
Darrin Reaves (Jr.), UAB
Silas Redd (Sr.), USC
Bishop Sankey (Jr.), Washington
Lache Seastrunk (Jr.), Baylor
David Sims (Sr.), Georgia Tech
James Sims (Sr.), Kansas
Kiero Small (Sr.), Arkansas
Jeremy Smith (Sr.), Oklahoma State
Jerome Smith (Jr.), Syracuse
De'Anthony Thomas (Jr.), Oregon
Zurlon Tipton (Sr.), Central Michigan
Trey Watts (Sr.), Tulsa
Mark Weisman (Jr.), Iowa
James White (Sr.), Iowa State
James White (Sr.), Wisconsin
Andre Williams (Sr.), Boston College
Damien Williams (Sr.), Oklahoma
Jamaal Williams (So.), BYU
Jonathan Williams (Sr.), Arkansas
Storm Woods (So.), Oregon State
T.J. Yeldon (So.), Alabama
Zach Zwinak (Jr.), Penn State
The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name the semifinalists on November 14, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the
finalists, who will be announced on November 25. The committee will cast a second vote beginning on December 2 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 2013 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 12, on ESPN. The Doak Walker Award
Presentation Banquet will be held in Dallas, Texas, in February 2013.
The award, in its 24th 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.