PROVO -- One day after undergoing surgery, BYU running back Luke Staley was today named the Touchdown Club of Columbus Running Back of the Year. Staley joins Marshall Faulk, Eddie George, Ricky Williams, Ron Dayne and LaDainian Tomlinson as winners of the Touchdown Club of Columbus Running Back of the Year Award.
The honor is yet another in a long list of prestigious awards Staley has received this year. Staley, winner of the Doak Walker Award, which also honors the top college running back in the nation, was named a consensus All-American after being named a first-team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, Associated Press, Football Writers of America, American Football Coaches Association, CNNSI, just to name a few.
The Touchdown Club of Columbus also recognizes college football's top collegiate passer with the Sammy Baugh Trophy. Staley joins former Cougars Gary Sheide, Marc Wilson, Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Robbie Bosco and Steve Sarkisian as honorees from the Touchdown Club of Columbus.
Staley was selected as the Running Back of the Year by a panel of 51 Division IA coaches from across the country. Travis Stephens of Tennessee finished second in the voting.
Staley, a junior from Tualatin, Ore., led the nation in scoring (15.5 p/game), yards per carry (8.1 y/carry) and ranked third in the nation in rushing, averaging 143.8 yards per game. He helped pace the Cougars to a perfect 12-0 record on the season before going down with a season-ending injury. Staley scored a BYU single-season record 28 touchdowns. He racked up a BYU single-season record 1,582 yards rushing on the season. Against Tulane, in the Cougars' season-opener, Staley averaged a BYU single-game record 14.2 yards per carry. He has racked up nine 100-yard rushing games on the season, including a career-high 207 yards on 23 carries against in-state rival Utah State. The 6-foot-2, 225 pound speedster has produced at least one touchdown in 22-of-30 games throughout his career, and has tallied 14 multiple-scoring games, including eight multiple-scoring games this season. Staley tied a BYU record with five touchdowns against Utah State and Colorado State during the season.
Staley had surgery on Tuesday, Dec. 18 to repair damaged ligaments in his ankle. Due to the surgery, Staley will not play against Louisville in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31. Stress x-rays taken on Dec. 14 showed that while the fractured fibula was healing well, the ligament damage in his ankle, sustained as a result of the broken fibula, would need to be repaired to help stabilize the ankle joint. Staley sustained a broken fibula against Mississippi State on Dec. 1 in the Cougars' 41-38 come-from-behind victory. Staley was injured on the final drive of the game after racking up 30 of his game-high 149 yards.