Doak Walker Award Finalist

University of Miami sophomore tailback Willis McGahee has been named a finalist for the 2002 Doak Walker Award, the SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors today announced. McGahee joins Chris Brown of Colorado and Larry Johnson of Penn State as a finalist.

"We had a great pool of candidates for this year's Doak Walker Award," said Randall Goss, Chairman of the SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors "These three young men are great representatives of college football, and we are proud to recognize them for their accomplishments on and off the field."

Brown, a junior from Naperville, Illinois, ranks third in the nation in rushing, averaging 158.6 yards per game. He has rushed for 1,744 yards, the second most in Colorado history, and scored 18 touchdowns this year while leading the Buffaloes to the Big XII North Division title. Brown has nine 100-yard rushing games this season, including a season-high 309 against Kansas on Oct. 12.

Johnson, a senior from State College, Pennsylvania, has rushed for 2,015 yards, averaging 8.0 yards per carry, and scored 23 touchdowns this year. He is the ninth player in NCAA Division I-A history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. His 167.9 yards per game on the ground leads the nation. He has eight 100-yard rushing games including four with more than 200 yards this season, and a record-setting 327 against Indiana on Nov. 16.

McGahee, a sophomore from Miami, Florida, ranks sixth nationally in rushing (134.6 yards per game) and third in scoring (11.5 points per game). He has rushed for 1,481 yards and scored 21 touchdowns this year to help defending national champion Miami reach a No. 1 ranking in the polls. He has rushed for at least 100 yards nine times this year.

McGahee has broken every meaningful UM single-season rushing record this season, setting new standards for rushing yardage, touchdowns, 100-yard rushing performances and all-purpose yards. Through 11 games, McGahee is averaging 6.6 yards per carry and 134.7 yards per game. He has caught 22 passes for 329 yards this season (15.0 avg.). He has accounted for 1,810 all-purpose yards this season. His 21 touchdowns have also set new UM single-season marks for scoring with 126 points through 11 games.

The recipient of the 2002 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on the Home Depot College Football Awards Show, which will air on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, December 12, 2002.

The 2002 recipient will receive his Award at the Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet on Tuesday, January 28, 2003, at The Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. Also being honored that evening is the recipient of the 2002 PricewaterhouseCoopers Doak Walker Legends Award, Earl Campbell.

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