Williams garners national respect

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors announced today that Alabama's Shaud Williams was one of eight semifinalists for the 2003 Doak Walker Award.

The annual award has recognized the top running back in college football since 1990.

The semifinalists (in alphabetical order) are: Steven Jackson, Oregon State; Kevin Jones, Virginia Tech; Derrick Knight, Boston College; Chris Perry, Michigan; Darren Sproles, Kansas State; Michael Turner, Northern Illinois; Shaud Williams, Alabama and Quincy Wilson, West Virginia.

Williams, a senior, is the SEC's leading rusher, averaging 106.3 yards per game. His 1,169 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, combine with 88 receiving yards, 133 punt return yards and 63 kickoff return yards for 1,453 all-purpose yards.

After 11 games of the 2003 season, Williams has 244 rushes (4th on the single season list) and his 1,169 yards is 10th on the single season list. Alabama has games with Auburn and Hawaii remaining.

Williams joins just nine other Alabama players to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season.

Williams, who has been coached by five different head coaches during his career, has 541 career rushes for 2,974 yards and 24 touchdowns. He has averaged 5.5 yards per carry over his collegiate career. He has 11 career, 100-yard rushing games.

"We are very fortunate to have such a strong group of running backs as semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award," said Randall Goss, Chairman of the SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors, "and also we congratulate all of the candidates who were nominated by their schools."

The 144 members of the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast their votes this week to determine the 2003 recipient.

On Monday, December 1, three finalists will be named, and, on Thursday, December 11, the recipient of the 2003 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on ESPN's The Home Depot College Football Awards.

The award will be presented at the 2003 Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet in Dallas on Thursday, February 12, 2004.

Felix "Doc" Blanchard and Glenn Davis, former Army star running backs, were jointly named the recipients of the 2003 PricewaterhouseCoopers Doak Walker Legends Award and will also be honored at the banquet.

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