Senior running back JJ Di Luigi was named to the Doak Walker Award Watch List.
DALLAS -- BYU senior running back JJ Di Luigi was named by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum as a preseason candidates for the 2011 Doak Walker Award on Friday. The award is presented annually to the nation’s top college running back.
Di Luigi was an All-Mountain West Conference Second Team selection in 2010 after leading the Cougars with 1,422 all-purpose yards, 917 rushing yards, 45 receptions and nine touchdowns.
A 5-foot-9, 190-pound speedster from Canyon Country, Calif., Di Luigi was also named to Phil Steele's preseason 2011 All-Independent First Team going into his final season.
BYU boasts the 2001 Doak Walker Award winner, Luke Staley, who led the nation in scoring and yards per carry as a consensus All-American running back.
The field of 51 candidates is highlighted by the 2010 Doak Walker Award recipient, LaMichael James from Oregon. James, a junior from Texarkana, TX, led the nation in rushing and scoring last season.
The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name 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 21. The committee will cast a second vote beginning on November 28 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 2011 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 8 on ESPN. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas, in February 2012.
The award, in its 22nd 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.