The PwC SMU Athletic Forum released today the preseason candidates for the 2020 Doak Walker Award. The Forum annually presents the award to the nation’s top college running back.
University of Louisville sophomore running back Javian Hawkins was named to the award watch list. The redshirt sophomore native is coming off a breakout 2019 season in which he was named a Freshman All-American and a second team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honoree.
Hawkins finished seventh nationally in rushing with 1,520 yards and nine touchdowns in guiding the Cardinals to an 8-5 record after a 38-28 win over Mississippi State in the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30.
The Titusville, Fla., native set the school record for most rushing yards by a running back, breaking Howard Stevens’ previous mark of 1,429 yards in 1971. It was the third-most yards in a season at Louisville, behind quarterback Lamar Jackson’s 1,601 yards in 2017 and 1,571 in 2016.
Hawkins finished third in the league in rushing and tying for the league lead with eight 100-yard rushing games – the most in school history by a running back and second behind Jackson’s school record of 10.
The 5-foot-9 running back started 12 games and grabbed ACC Rookie and Running Back of the Week honors twice during his first full season. He rushed for 233 yards – the second most in the ACC this season – in a win over Syracuse. It was the first 200-yard rushing game by a Cardinal since Lamar Jackson had 226 against Texas A&M on Dec. 30, 2015 and the most rushing yards by a Cardinal since Anthony Allen rushed for 275 against Middle Tennessee on Sept. 6, 2007.
The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name ten semifinalists in November, and three finalists, as voted on by the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee, will be announced in November. The committee will cast a second vote in December 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 2020 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards.
The award 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.
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