Lumpkin and Brown on Walker Award watchlist

DALLAS, TEXAS - The Guaranty Bank SMU Athletic Forum announced Tuesday that University of Georgia senior tailbacks Thomas Brown (Tucker, Ga.) and Kregg Lumpkin (Lithonia, Ga.) are among the candidates on the list for the 2007 Doak Walker Award. The award is presented annually to the nation's top college running back.

Lumpkin was the team's leading rusher in 2006 with 798 yards on 162 carries, an average of 61.4 yards per game, and six touchdowns. Brown rushed for 256 yards on 62 attempts, averaging 36.6 yards per game, before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Brown has been named the opening-day starter at tailback.

Georgia has had one past recipient of the Doak Walker Award. Garrison Hearst earned the honor in 1992 as he rushed for 1,547 yards on 228 carries and crossed the goal line 19 times.

The field of candidates includes 2006 Doak Walker Award recipient Arkansas junior Darren McFadden, as well as 2006 Doak Walker Award finalists Michigan senior Mike Hart and West Virginia junior Steve Slaton. Other candidates include Boise State junior Ian Johnson, who led the nation in touchdowns last season; and Rutgers junior Ray Rice who rushed for more yards than any returning player and set a Big East record with 1,794 yards in 2006.

The Guaranty Bank SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will select the semifinalists on November 12, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the finalists to be announced on November 19. The committee will cast a second vote beginning on November 26 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 2007 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on ESPN along with other NCFAA member awards on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 6. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held at The Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas, on Friday, February 15, 2008.

The award, now in its 18th 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.

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