The 2014 Doak Walker Award watch list was released Thursday, and featured five student-athletes from the Big 12.
Shock Linwood (Baylor), Aaron Wimberly (Iowa State), B.J. Catalon (TCU), Malcolm Brown (Texas) and Johnathan Gray (Texas) are the conference’s representatives on this year’s watch list.
The Doak Walker Award, created in 1989, is presented annually to the nation’s premier collegiate running back for accomplishments on the field, achievement in the classroom and citizenship in the community. The award requires all candidates to be in good academic standing and on schedule to graduate within one year of other students of the same classification. Cedric Benson of Texas was the last Big 12 student-athlete to win the award in 2004 after rushing for 1,764 yards and becoming just the fifth player in NCAA history to rush for 1,000 in four consecutive seasons.
Linwood, a sophomore, put together a promising rookie campaign, racking up 881 yards and eight touchdowns. He also averaged 6.9 yards a carry as a freshman on 128 attempts.
Wimberly led the Cyclones in rushing (567 yards) and yards per carry (4.0 on 141 carries) despite missing two games with injuries. The senior tallied two rushing touchdowns and also caught 18 passes for 211 yards and two more touchdowns in 2013.
Catalon has led the Horned Frogs in rushing each of the past two years and is coming off a sophomore season in which he amassed 569 yards and six touchdowns on 107 carries. The Houston, Texas, native also averaged a team-best 5.3 yards per carry.
Brown, a senior, ran for 904 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013. He also averaged 4.2 yards on 214 carries on the year, and caught 17 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns.
Gray has run for over 700 yards in each of his first two seasons with the Longhorns and currently ranks No. 28 on the UT all-time rushing list. The Aledo, Texas, native scored four touchdowns and averaged 4.9 yards a carry in 2013 despite missing the last four games of the season due to injury.
The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will review the achievements of all the candidates in mid-November and cast a vote to select 10 semifinalists. The National Selection Committee will then cast a second vote to determine the winner, which will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN on December 11.