FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas tailbacks Darren McFadden and Felix Jones have been named to the watch list for the 2007 Doak Walker Award, presented annually to the nation’s top running back, it was announced on Tuesday by The Guaranty Bank SMU Athletic Forum.
McFadden was the first Razorback in school history to win the award when he captured the honor in 2006 after rushing for a school-record 1,647 yards. The Little Rock, Ark., native was also the first sophomore to win the coveted prize in the 17-year history of the award. Only Texas’ Ricky Williams has won the Doak Walker Award twice in his collegiate career.
Jones is a pre-season first-team All-SEC selection after rushing for 1,168 yards last year while sharing the backfield with McFadden. The duo became only the third rushing tandem in league history and the 38th combination in NCAA history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in the same season. The pre-season watch list also includes 2006 Doak Walker Award finalists Mike Hart of Michigan and Steve Slaton of West Virginia.
“It is a tremendous honor for our program to have two running backs on the watch list for the Doak Walker Award,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “As we saw up close last year, the SMU Athletic Forum is a first-class organization and the Doak Walker Award is one of the most prestigious awards in college football. Darren and Felix both deserve to be included on this list and we are hopeful that a Razorback will once again be holding the trophy at the end of the 2007 season.”
The Guaranty Bank SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will select the semifinalists on November 12, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the finalists to be announced on Nov. 19. The committee will cast a second vote beginning on Nov. 26 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 2007 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on ESPN along with other NCFAA member awards on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 6. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held at The Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas, on Friday, Feb. 15, 2008.
The award, in its 18th 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.
2007 Doak Walker Award Watch List
Tarrion Adams (Jr.), Tulsa
Reggie Arnold (So.), Arkansas State
Toney Baker (Jr.), NC State
Lance Ball (Sr.), Maryland
Yvenson Bernard (Sr.), Oregon State
Curtis Brinkley (Jr.), Syracuse
Aaron Brown (Jr.), TCU
Andre Brown (Jr.), NC State
Donald Brown (So.), Connecticut
Thomas Brown (Sr.), Georgia
Kenny Cattouse (Sr.), Troy
Hugh Charles (Sr.), Colorado
Jamaal Charles (Sr.), Texas
James Davis (Jr.), Clemson
Calvin Dawson (Sr.), UL Monroe
Joseph Doss (Sr.), Memphis
Rodney Ferguson (Jr.), New Mexico
Damion Fletcher (So.), Southern Miss.
Justin Forsett (Sr.), California
Matt Forté (Sr.), Tulane
Mike Goodson (So.), Texas A&M
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Sr.), Mississippi
Mike Hart (Sr.), Michigan
P.J. Hill (So.), Wisconsin
Patrick Jackson (Jr.), Louisiana Tech
Javarris James (So.), Miami (FL)
Ian Johnson (Jr.), Boise State
Felix Jones (Jr.), Arkansas
Jorvorskie Lane (Jr.), Texas A&M
Rafael Little (Sr.), Kentucky
Marlon Lucky (Jr.), Nebraska
Kregg Lumpkin (Sr.), Georgia
Chris Markey (Sr.), UCLA
DeMyron Martin (Jr.), SMU
Darren McFadden (Jr.), Arkansas
Rashard Mendenhall (Jr.), Illinois
Jalen Parmele (Sr.), Toledo
Amir Pinnix (Sr.), Minnesota
Ray Rice (Jr.), Rutgers
Kory Sheets (Jr.), Purdue
Steve Slaton (Jr.), West Virginia
Kevin Smith (Jr.), Central Florida
Ontario Sneed (Jr.), Central Michigan
C.J. Spiller (So.), Clemson
Tyrell Sutton (Jr.), Northwestern
Courtney Tennial (Sr.), Tulsa
Marcus Thomas (Sr.), UTEP
Ryan Torain (Sr.), Arizona State
Chris Wells (So.), Ohio State
Shannon Woods (Jr.), Texas TechAlbert Young (Sr.), Iowa State