BYU's Luke Staley -- winner of the 2001 Doak Walker Award.
ORLANDO -- While his teammates and coaches were watching in their hotel rooms from Hawaii, over 6,000 miles away, BYU running back Luke Staley was today named the winner of the 2001 Doak Walker Award. The annual award, which was presented on the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show from Orlando, Fla., is presented to college football's top running back.
"This is a great honor," Staley said. "I can't express how grateful I am for my family, my teammates, my coach - everyone who made this possible."
In addition to winning the Doak Walker Award, Staley was also named tonight as a first-team member of the prestigious Walter Camp Foundation All-America Team. Staley is the first BYU consensus All-American since Ty Detmer was twice selected in 1990 and 1991. In addition to the Walter Camp Foundation All-American team, Staley has been named a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association, Football Writers Association of America, the Associated Press, The Sporting News, Football News and CNNSI; just to name a few.
"We're very proud of Luke and all his accomplishments," BYU head coach Gary Crowton said. "Since we started this season back in August, we have been telling these guys to work hard, stay focused and great things will happen. This award, although presented to Luke, is a tribute to the hard work and commitment each and every player and coach has made this season. Luke is probably one of the best examples we have had, in terms of working hard and staying focused. This is a great tribute for a great athlete, a great teammate and a great young man. We couldn't be more proud of him."
Staley, a junior from Tualatin, Ore., leads the nation in scoring (15.5 p/game), yards per carry (8.1 y/carry) and ranks third in the nation in rushing, averaging 143.8 yards per game. He has helped pace the eighth-ranked Cougars to a perfect 12-0 record on the season, scoring a BYU single-season record 28 touchdowns. Staley has 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.
Luke Staley crosses the goal line against Air Force for one of his record-setting 28 TD's this season. (BYU Photo / Mark Philbrick)
"Since the first time we say him as a true freshman in 1999, we thought he would someday be a great NFL player," ESPN's Lee Corso said. "Luke Staley is a winner on and off the field and has always been one of my favorite players."
Doak Walker epitomized leadership, sportsmanship, and academic and athletic achievement during his storied career at SMU in the late 1940's. Gracing the covers of numerous national magazines, "the Doaker" was a national phenomenon. The versatile Walker, who also punted, returned punts and kickoffs, and kicked extra points, earned All-America honors in 1947, 1948 and 1949. After starting as a freshman in 1945, he missed the 1946 season due to his service in the army; however, by his junior season, his exploits on the field had become legendary, and in 1948, Walker became the first junior to win the Heisman Trophy.
Because of extraordinary fan interest in Walker, who led the Mustangs to Southwest Conference championships and Cotton Bowl appearances in the 1947 and 1948 seasons, SMU moved its home football games from campus to an expanded Cotton Bowl. The Cotton Bowl recognized Walker's achievements with a plaque at its main entrance that reads: "The Cotton Bowl, the House that Doak Built."
Walker received his degree on schedule before reporting to the Detroit Lions for his rookie season in 1950. As a rookie, he led the NFL in scoring with 128 points. During his six years with the Lions, he led the team to NFL championships in 1952 and 1953 and was chosen All-Pro four times. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1959 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986. Prior to this season, Walker's jersey number 37 was the sole number in the history of SMU athletics to be retired.
On September 27, 1998, 50 years to the day after appearing on the cover of Life Magazine, Walker passed away due to complications from a skiing accident.
Staley will be honored by the SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors at the Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet on Monday, January 28, 2002 in the Regency Ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas.
THE DOAK WALKER AWARD
The prestigious Doak Walker Award was created in 1989 to recognize the nation's premier running back for his accomplishments on the field, achievement in the classroom and citizenship in the community. It is the only major collegiate football 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.
1990 Greg Lewis - Washington
1991 Trevor Cobb - Rice
1992 Garrison Hearst - Georgia
1993 Byron "Bam" Morris - Texas Tech
1994 Rashaan Salaam - Colorado
1995 Eddie George - Ohio State
1996 Byron Hanspard - Texas Tech
1997 Ricky Williams - Texas
1998 Ricky Williams - Texas
1999 Ron Dayne - Wisconsin
2000 LaDainian Tomlinson - TCU
2001 Luke Staley - Brigham Young
STALEY THREE-DOT DATA
A Doak Walker Award winner ... Working on consensus All-America honors ... Leads the Nation in scoring, averaging 15.45 points per game ... Leads the Nation in yards per carry, averaging 8.1 yards per touch ... Ranks third in the Nation in yards per game, averaging 143.8 yards per contest ... Has recorded more yards rushing by any back in the Nation with less than 170 carries ... Only one of seven BYU running backs in Cougar Football history to run for over 1,000 yards in a single season ... Has scored more touchdowns than any other player in the Nation ... Set the BYU single-game yards-per carry record, averaging 14.2 yards per carry against Tulane ... Broke the 29-year-old BYU single-season rushing record, recording 1,433 yards in just 10 games ... Set the single-season touchdown scoring record with 28 TDs on the season ... Tied a BYU single-season record with 30 points against Utah State and Colorado State ... Set the BYU career touchdown scoring record during the season, having recorded 48 touchdowns in just three seasons ... Has produced eight multi-touchdown performances on the season, including five games with three or more touchdowns ... Twice scored a career-high five touchdowns on the season, including games against Utah State and Colorado State ... Has chalked up 100-or-more yards rushing in eight different games this season, including five games with 150-or-more yards ... Has put together six straight games with over 100 yards rushing, including four straight games with 150-or-more ... Set a MWC record with his fourth Offensive Player-of-the-Week honor after knocking off Utah ... On Oct. 8, was named the MWC Offensive Player of the Week after a a career-high 207 yard rushing performance against Utah State, scoring four rushing and one touchdown reception ... Earned player-of-the-week honors on Nov. 5 after scoring five touchdowns against a stingy Colorado State defense, recording 196 yards on 22 carries ... Also named player of the week after racking up another 172 yards on 31 carries, scoring four touchdowns against Wyoming ... earned MWC Offensive Player-of-the-Week and CNN.SI National Player-of-the-Week recognition after scoring two touchdowns, including the game-winner in the final 3:22 of the Cougars' come-from-behind win over Utah ... Averaging 11.1 yards per reception ... Has scored four touchdown receptions on the season and 24 rushing TDs ... Owns the BYU and MWC single-season and career scoring records (including kickers) with 170/290 points ... Needs just 722 yards to become BYU's all-time leading career rusher.
STALEY QUICK FACTS
Ã² Leads the nation in scoring, averaging 15.5 points per game
Ã² Leads the nation in rushing yards per carry, averaging 8.1 yards per touch
Ã² Ranks 3rd nationally in yards per game, averaging 143.8 yards per contest
Ã² Has tallied 14 multiple-scoring games over his career
Ã² Has produced at least one touchdown in 22-of-30 career games.
Ã² Named MWC Player of the Week after posting 207 yards and five TDs
Ã² Named MWC Player of the Week after posting 196 yards and five TDs
Ã² Named MWC Player of the Week after posting 172 yards and four TDs
Ã² Named Sporting News Nissan Frontier National Player of the Week (Nov. 11)
Ã² Named Football News, Sporting News, Football Writers, CNN.SI First
Ã² Has 2,493 career rushing yards
Ã² Has 1,582 yards rushing this season - a career high.
Ã² Has produced 290 career points
Ã² Twice tied BYU single-game record with 30 points (vs. Utah State;
vs. Colorado State)
Ã² Twice tied BYU school record with five touchdowns (vs. Utah State;
vs. Colorado State)
Ã² Set BYU single-season touchdown record with 28 TDs (2001)
Ã² Set BYU single-game record with 14.2 yards per carry (vs. Tulane; 10-for-142)
Ã² Set BYU single-season scoring record with 170 points scored
Ã² On pace to set single-season yards per carry record, averaging 8.1 y/c
Ã² Set BYU career touchdown scoring record (48).
Ã² Set BYU's single-season rushing record with 1,582 yards
Ã² Needs just 477 yards to become all-time leading career rusher
Ã² Beacame BYU's first 1,000-yd rusher since 1998 (Jenkins; 1,307)
Ã² Needs 43 points to become BYU's all-time leading scorer
Ã² Became BYU's all-time (non-kicker) leading scorer (288)
2001 Game-by-Game Stats
Game No. Yds TD Long Avg./Carry
Tulane 10 142 3 65 14.2
Nevada 10 124 2 44 12.4
California 9 47 0 19 5.2
UNLV 15 77 0 23 5.1
Utah State 23 207 4 37 9.0
Air Force 14 134 2 32 9.6
San Diego State 17 165 3 63 9.7
Colorado State 22 196 5 44 8.9
Wyoming 31 172 4 55 5.5
Utah 17 169 1 54 9.9
Mississippi State 28 149 0 23 5.3
TOTALS 196 1,582 24 65 8.1