Three Area Running Backs on Doak Walker Watch List
By John Moss
University of Tulsa running back Trey Watts, Oklahoma State Running back Jeremy Smith, and Oklahoma running back Damien Williams are three of 63 college running backs selected to the preseason watch list for the 2013 Doak Walker Award, which is presented to the nation's top college running back. The award is in its 24th year and is named for SMU's three-time All-America running back Doak Walker.Watts, a 5'11", 200-pound senior, led the Hurricane in rushing with 1,108 yards and three touchdowns last year. He was named the Game MVP and the Offensive MVP of the 2012 AutoZone Liberty Bowl in leading Tulsa to a 31-17 victory over Iowa State. Watts gained 249 all-purpose yards in that game, including a game-high 149 rushing yards.He finished the 2012 season ranked 11th nationally in all-purpose yards with 2,191 yards for an average of 168.5 yards per game. Watts totaled five 200+ all-purpose yard games a year ago.Watts earned second team all-Conference USA honors as a kick returner and honorable mention accolades as a running back a year ago.In his career, Watts has seven career 100-yard rushing games, five of which came during the 2012 campaign. He has 4,189 career all-purpose yards in 37 games played for a 113.2- yard average. Watts has caught 58 passes for 757 yards, and totaled 586 kickoff return yards and 154 punt return yards in his career. Watts enters his senior season with 2,186 career rushing yards to rank ninth on the school's all-time rushing chart.Watts has also been named to the preseason watch lists for the Maxwell Award, given to the nation's top collegiate player, and the Paul Hornung Award for the most versatile player in college football.Smith is coming off a strong finish to a 2012 season that was disrupted by a midseason injury. He ended the season with eight rushing touchdowns along with 388 rushing yards and 32 receiving yards.The Tulsa, Okla., native's 25 career rushing touchdowns place him ninth all-time at OSU. Smith carries the program's second longest streak of consecutive games with a rushing touchdown with 10, trailing only Barry Sanders.Williams, a San Diego, CA native, rushed for 905 yards in 2012 with 11 touchdowns.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.
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