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Alisa, Williams named 2013 Doak Walker Award candidates

PROVO, Utah – The PwC SMU Athletic Forum today announced the preseason candidates for the 2013 Doak Walker Award, naming BYU running backs Michael Alisa and Jamaal Williams among 63 players on the list. The award is presented annually to the nation’s top college running back.

Alisa, who was also a candidate for the award in 2012, returns for his senior season after missing most of 2012 due to injury. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound sophomore from Laie, Hawai’i, totaled 222 yards in just over four games of playing time last year while maintaining a career average of 4.7 yards per carry.

Williams took over the starting role after Alisa’s injury and went on to set BYU records for true freshmen with 775 yards and 12 touchdowns on 166 carries. The 6-foot 190-pound native of Fontana, Calif., not only led the team in rushing but also ranked second with 315 receiving yards on 27 receptions with one touchdown. Williams ran for a season high of 155 yards against Hawaii and scored four touchdowns at Georgia Tech.

BYU’s Luke Staley won the 2001 Doak Walker Award after leading the nation in yards per carry (8.1) and scoring (15.5 points per game) while finishing third in overall rushing at 143.8 yards per game.

The 2013 field of Doak Walker Award candidates is highlighted by University of Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey. Carey, a junior from Tucson, Ariz., led the nation with 1,929 rushing yards last season with current BYU offensive coordinator Robert Anae serving as the offensive line coach for the Wildcats. Other nominees include 2012 Doak Walker Award semifinalists David Fluellen (Toledo) and Venric Mark (Northwestern).

The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name the 2013 semifinalists on Nov. 14, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the finalists, who will be announced on Nov. 25. The committee will cast a second vote beginning on Dec. 2 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 2013 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 12, on ESPN. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held in Dallas in February 2013.

The award, in its 24th 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.

Nominations for the award will be accepted through October. The complete list of candidates, who were nominated by their universities, follows:

Ameer Abdullah (Jr.), Nebraska

Michael Alisa (Sr.), BYU

Antonio Andrews (Sr.), Western Kentucky

Dri Archer (Sr.), Kent State

Brendan Bigelow (Jr.), California

Beau Blankenship (Sr.), Ohio

Alfred Blue (Sr.), LSU

Dominique Brown (Jr.), Louisville

Ka'Deem Carey (Jr.), Arizona

B.J. Catalon (So.), TCU

Orleans Darkwa (Sr.), Tulane

Kenneth Dixon (So.), Louisiana Tech

Trayion Durham (Jr.), Kent State

Jahwan Edwards (Jr.), Ball State

David Fluellen (Sr.), Toledo

D.J. Foster (So.), Arizona State

Melvin Gordon (So.), Wisconsin

Marion Grice (Sr.), Arizona State

Todd Gurley (So.), Georgia

Joe Hill (Jr.), Utah State

John Hubert (Sr.), Kansas State

Carlos Hyde (Sr.), Ohio State

Waymon James (Sr.), TCU

Duke Johnson (So.), Miami

Storm Johnson (Jr.), UCF

Matt Jones (So.), Florida

Henry Josey (Jr.), Missouri

Ben Malena (Sr.), Texas A&M

Raymond Maples (Sr.), Army

Venric Mark (Sr.), Northwestern

Keith Marshall (So.), Georgia

Glasco Martin (Sr.), Baylor

Tre Mason (Jr.), Auburn

Lyle McCombs (Jr.), Connecticut

Adam Muema (Jr.), San Diego State

David Oku (Sr.), Arkansas State

Branden Oliver (Sr.), Buffalo

Jordan Parker (So.), Middle Tennessee

LaDarius Perkins (Sr.), Mississippi State

Senorise Perry (Sr.), Louisville

Christian Powell (So.), Colorado

Darrin Reaves (Jr.), UAB

Silas Redd (Sr.), USC

Bishop Sankey (Jr.), Washington

Lache Seastrunk (Jr.), Baylor

David Sims (Sr.), Georgia Tech

James Sims (Sr.), Kansas

Kiero Small (Sr.), Arkansas

Jeremy Smith (Sr.), Oklahoma State

Jerome Smith (Jr.), Syracuse

De'Anthony Thomas (Jr.), Oregon

Zurlon Tipton (Sr.), Central Michigan

Trey Watts (Sr.), Tulsa

Mark Weisman (Jr.), Iowa

James White (Sr.), Iowa State

James White (Sr.), Wisconsin

Andre Williams (Sr.), Boston College

Damien Williams (Sr.), Oklahoma

Jamaal Williams (So.), BYU

Jonathan Williams (Sr.), Arkansas

Storm Woods (So.), Oregon State

T.J. Yeldon (So.), Alabama

Zach Zwinak (Jr.), Penn State