Three MW Football Student-Athletes Named to 2012 Doak Walker Award Watch List

July 20, 2012

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Three Mountain West football student-athletes have been named to the watch list for the 2012 Doak Walker Award, awarded annually to the nation's top college running back. Boise State's D.J. Harper, Fresno State's Robbie Rouse and San Diego State's Walter Kazee are among 52 candidates for the award, the PwC SMU Athletic Forum announced this week.

A product of Cypress, Texas, Harper finished the 2011 campaign as the Broncos' second-leading rusher, picking up 557 yards on 115 careers. The sixth-year senior scored a career-high nine rushing touchdowns last year, increasing his career total to 24 which is the ninth-most in Boise State history.

Rouse, a senior from San Diego, Calif., returns for his senior season as the nation's fourth-leading active rusher. His 3,157 career rushing yards, which rank second in Fresno State history, trail only former Boston College and current Temple running back Montel Harris (3,735), Wisconsin's Montee Ball (3,310) and Michigan's Denard Robinson (3,229). Rouse wrapped up the 2011 season with 1,549 rushing yards, which ranked seventh nationally and third on the Bulldogs' single-season rushing list.

Hailing from San Bernadino, Calif., Kazee rushed for 339 yards and four touchdowns on 74 carries (4.6 yards per carry) before a knee injury in the ninth game sidelined him for the rest of the 2011 season. For his career, the senior has 1,042 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on 229 rushes (4.6 yards per carry).

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.