Doak Walker Award, Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award watch lists announced

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – On Thursday morning, the PwC SMU Athletic Forum announced the preseason candidates for the 2015 Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation’s top college running back, and five Mountain West student-athletes received recognition.

Fresno State’s Marteze Waller, Nevada’s Don Jackson, San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey, Utah State’s LaJuan Hunt and Wyoming’s Shaun Wick were among the 69 FBS running backs on the watch list.

Pumphrey was an All-MW first-team selection in 2014 after rushing for 1,867 yards and 20 touchdowns. He ranked fourth nationally in rushing yards and ninth in rushing touchdowns. Waller, a 2014 second-team All-Conference honoree, scampered for 1,368 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name ten semifinalists on November 18, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the three finalists, who will be announced on November 24. The committee will cast a second vote beginning November 30 to determine the recipient. The National Selection Committee consists of past recipients, former NFL All-Pro and college All-America running backs, media members and selected special representatives.

The recipient of the 2015 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 10, on ESPN. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held in Dallas in early 2016.

The award, which will name its 26th recipient in 2015, 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.

Also on Thursday morning, Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton was named to the 2015 Davey O’Brien Nation Quarterback Award Watch List. He is the lone MW representative on the list.

The field will be narrowed to 16 semifinalists on Monday, Nov. 2. From that list, the Foundation and the Selection Committee will announce the three finalists on Tuesday, Nov. 24. The 2015 Davey O'Brien winner will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 10.