Eric Stephens Earns Way On To Doak Walker Award Ballot|
Eric Stephens is on the preseason watch list for the Doak Walker Award.
July 19, 2012
Senior running back Eric Stephens has become the fourth Red Raider to join the ballot for a national position honor as he was named to the preseason watch list for the Doak Walker Award.
The Doak Walker Award, which honors the nation's top running back, has great history at Texas Tech as two former Red Raiders have claimed this coveted prize. Byron "Bam" Morris won the program's first Doak Walker Award in 1993 while Byron Hanspard took home the trophy in 1996.
Stephens, a native of Mansfield, is on the preseason ballot despite the fact that a season-ending knee injury kept him out of seven games in 2011. The first give games of the 2011 season, however, were impressive as he compiled 565 yards and eight touchdowns. Before suffering a knee injury at home against Texas A&M, Stephens was on pace for one of the best individual rushing seasons at Texas Tech since the late 1990s. In the first four games of the year, Stephens had more rushing yards (468) and more attempts (87) through the first four games of a season since Ricky Williams in 1998.
Stephens is one of seven candidates from the Big 12 Conference joining John Hubert (Kansas State), James Waymon (TCU), Joseph Randle (Oklahoma State), Jarred Salubi (Baylor), Matthew Tucker (TCU) and James White (Iowa State).
The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name the semifinalists on November 9, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the finalists, who will be announced on November 19. The committee will cast a second vote beginning on November 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 2012 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 6, on ESPN. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held in Dallas, Texas, in February 2013.
The award, in its 23nd 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.