Buffalo (WKBW/UB Release) 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. On the list for a second straight season is Buffalo running back Branden Oliver.
A season after setting the single-season rushing record, 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.
In all, Oliver is one of seven running backs from the Mid-American Conference on the list.
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