While his teammates and coaches were watching in their hotel rooms from Hawaii, over 6,000 miles away, BYU running back Luke Staley was named the winner of the 2001 Doak Walker Award. The annual award, which was pre-sented 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 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 tell-ing 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 commit-ment 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, from Tualatin, Ore., led the nation in scoring (15.5 p/game), yards per carry (8.1 y/carry) and finished the 2001 season ranked third in the nation in rushing, averaging 143.8 yards per game. He helped pace the Cougars to a 12-2 record on the season, scoring a BYU single-season record 28 touchdowns. Staley also racked up a BYU single-season record 1,582 yards rushing on the season.