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Five C-USA Players Named to Doak Walker Award Watch List


Five C-USA Players Named to Doak Walker Award Watch List

Five Conference USA players have been named to the 2013 Doak Walker Award watch list, as announced by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum Thursday. Louisiana Tech sophomore Kenneth Dixon, Middle Tennessee sophomore Jordan Parker, Tulane senior Orleans Darkwa, Tulsa senior Trey Watts and UAB junior Darrin Reaves were tabbed for the preseason list. The award is presented annually to the nationís top college running back.

Dixon was a 2012 Freshman All-America selection as he led the nation in scoring averaging 14.0 points per game. The Strong, Ark., native set NCAA Freshman records last season for rushing touchdowns (27), total touchdowns (28) and total points scored (168). All three of those records were held by Marshall Faulk before Dixon broke them.

Parker, a rising sophomore, set a Middle Tennessee freshman rushing record last year with 851 yards and collected four 100-yard rushing games. Parker enjoyed a school record 98-yard touchdown run in last year's win over Troy.

Darkwa's selection comes following an injury-plagued 2012 campaign which limited him to nine games and five starts when he had a team-best three rushing touchdowns while carrying the ball 81 times for 241 yards and pulling down 15 receptions for 78 yards through the air. In 2011, he ran for 924 yards, caught a team-high 37 passes and scored 13 touchdowns.

Watts led the Golden 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 had a league-best 2,191 all-purpose yards last season.

Reaves, who was named to the preseason All-Conference USA first team on Wednesday, He became the fourth 1,000-yard rusher in Blazer history last season when he ran for 1,037 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Birmingham native who attended Clay-Chalkville High School also recorded 41 receptions for 302 yards in 2012. Reaves is the only running back in the country entering the 2013 season who surpassed 1,000 yards rushing and 40 catches last fall.

The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name the semifinalists November 14, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the finalists, who will be announced November 25. The committee will cast a second vote beginning 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 during The Home Depot College Football Awards Thursday, December 12, on ESPN. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held in Dallas, Texas, in February 2013.

The award, in its 24nd year, is named for SMUís 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.
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