NORMAN, Okla. – Oklahoma’s Chris Brown and DeMarco Murray are both on the watch list announced today for the Doak Walker Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top running back. The Guaranty Bank SMU Athletic Forum made the announcement.
The two OU players were part of an NCAA statistical first last season when they became the only pair of 1,000-yard rushers to share a backfield with a 4,000-yard passer, Sam Bradford.
Brown led the Sooners in rushing with 1,220 yards on 217 attempts with 20 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 15 passes for 109 yards and one TD.
Murray had been OU’s top ground gainer until sustaining a hamstring injury on the opening kickoff of the Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship Game. Still, he finished the season with 1,038 rushing yards on 179 carries with 14 rushing touchdowns.
He also caught 31 passes for 395 yards and another 4 TD.
Murray’s duties extended to retuning kicks, too. He logged 28 attempts for 774 yards (27.6/return).
The Guaranty Bank SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will select the semifinalists on November 11, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the finalists, who will be announced on November 23. The committee will cast a second vote beginning on November 30 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 2009 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on ESPN on The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards on Thursday, December 10. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas, on Friday, February 19, 2010.
The award, in its 20th 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.