Junior Running Back Among 10 Best in Nation

Champaign, Ill. - The Guaranty Bank SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors announced today that University of Illinois junior running back Rashard Mendenhall is among the 10 semifinalists for the 2007 Doak Walker Award.

The 162 members of the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast their votes this week to determine the 2007 finalists.

Mendenhall has had a breakout year for the Illini, averaging 127.5 yards per game which is ranked eighth in the nation. He is averaging 6.4 yards per carry, which is the third best in the country. On Saturday, he broke the Illinois single-season rushing record with 1,402 yards in just 11 games. Behind his strong running, the offense is ranked sixth nationally in rushing and broke the school record for rushing yards in a season by a team. Mendenhall has big-play ability as well rushing for over 20 yards on 14 occasions this season.

On Monday, November 19, three finalists will be named, and a second vote by the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will determine the recipient. The 2007 Doak Walker Award recipient will be announced live on The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards on Thursday, December 6.

The award is named after three-time SMU All-American running back and 1948 Heisman Trophy winner Doak Walker.

2007 Doak Walker Semifinalists

Anthony Alridge (Sr.), Houston

Jamaal Charles (Jr.), Texas

Matt Forte (Sr.), Tulane

Mike Hart (Sr.), Michigan

Felix Jones (Jr.), Arkansas

Darren McFadden (Jr.), Arkansas

Rashard Mendenhall (Jr.), Illinois

Ray Rice (Jr.), Rutgers

Kevin Smith (Jr.), Central Florida

Jonathan Stewart (Jr.), Oregon

University of Illinois press release.

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