Gates finished as the Cardinals' top rusher last season, and could be headed for one of his bests campaign as a Cardinal. Gates finished with a team-high 817 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns while also reeling in 25 receptions for 368 yards. He ran for a career-high 140 yards in a win over Houston and added 128 yards, including an 88-yard run in a loss to Miami.
The SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will select the semifinalists on November 15, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will vote on the winner in late November. 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 2004 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 9. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held at The Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, Texas, on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2005. Former Michigan running back Chris Perry, currently with the Cincinnati Bengals, won the 2003 Doak Walker Award.
The award, which is celebrating its 15th year, is named for SMU's three-time All-American 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. Sponsors of the Forum include PricewaterhouseCoopers, American Airlines, The Dallas Morning News, Guaranty Bank, JPMorgan Chase and State Farm Bank®.
2004 DOAK WALKER AWARD CANDIDATES Josh Allen (Jr.), Maryland J.J. Arrington (Sr.), California Marion Barber (Sr.), Minnesota Chris Barclay (Jr.), Wake Forest Arliss Beach (Jr.), Kentucky Mike Bell (Jr.), Arizona Cedric Benson (Sr.), Texas Ronnie Brown (Sr.), Auburn Reggie Bush (So.), USC Earl Charles (Sr.), Marshall Patrick Cobbs (Sr.), North Texas P. J. Daniels (Jr.), Georgia Tech Anthony Davis (Sr.), Wisconsin Kyle Eckel (Sr.), Navy Anthony Evans (Sr.), Houston Lionel Gates (Sr.), Louisville Franklin Gore (Sr.), Miami E.B. Halsey (So.), Illinois Lynell Hamilton (So.), San Diego State Alex Haynes (Sr.), UCF Taurean Henderson (Jr.), Texas Tech Lonta Hobbs (Jr.), TCU Cedric Houston (Sr.), Tennessee Howard Jackson (Sr.), UTEP Chance Kretschmer (Sr.), Nevada Brian Leonard (Jr.), Rutgers Wali Lundy (Jr.), Virginia Sammy Maldonado (Sr.), Maryland Ronnie McGill (So.), UNC T.A. McLendon (Jr.), NC State Ryan Moats (Jr.), Louisiana Tech Foy Munlin (Sr.), SMU P.J. Pope (Jr.), Bowling Green Bobby Purify (Sr.), Colorado Walter Reyes (Sr.), Syracuse Lydell Ross (Sr.), Ohio State Darren Sproles (Sr.), Kansas State Justin Vincent (So.), LSU Jerod Void (Sr.), Purdue LenDale White (So.), USC DeAngelo Williams (Jr.), Memphis Carnell Williams (Sr.), Auburn