McGill a Doak Walker Award candidate

DALLAS, Texas - University of North Carolina sophomore tailback Ronnie McGill is on the preseason list of candidates for the Doak Walker Award, announced today by the SMU Athletic Forum. The Doak Walker Award is presented annually to the nation's top college running back.

McGill led the Tar Heels in rushing in 2003 as a true freshmen with 654 yards on 128 carries. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry and was seventh in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 54.5 yards rushing per game. McGill rushed for 244 yards and three touchdowns in Carolina's win over Wake Forest last fall. It was the third-highest total by a UNC freshman and the ninth-highest single-game total in school history.

The complete list of candidates, who were nominated by their universities, follows:

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

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, February 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®.

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