Pittsburgh — Senior running back Ray Graham (Elizabeth, N.J./Elizabeth) has been selected as one of 52 candidates for the Doak Walker Award, annually presented to the top college running back in the nation. It is the second straight year Graham has been named to the award's preseason watch list.
Last fall, Graham was on a dazzling rushing pace comparable only to the legendary Tony Dorsett in Pitt annals before a knee injury ended his season in late October. Through his first seven games, Graham was second nationally and first in the Big East in rushing yards per game (134.14 avg.). A knee injury early in the eighth game against Connecticut ended his year and he finished with 958 yards and nine TDs on 164 carries (5.8 avg.).
Graham was also named to the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award, annually presented to the country's outstanding collegiate football player. He is one of 65 candidates for the award, named after famed sportswriter Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell.
Entering his final season with the Panthers, Graham is 10th on Pitt's career rushing list with 2,229 yards. He was voted first team All-Big East last year despite the injury-shortened season.