Toby Gerhart wins the 2009 Doak Walker
Congratulations to Stanford running back and Heisman Trophy finalist Toby Gerhart. Tonight, #7 won the prestigious Doak Walker Award for 2009, putting him in truly elite company among Stanford's all-time greatest football players. The Doak Walker Award, first awarded in 1990, honors "the nation's top college football running back". This award is unique among college football awards in that it requires all candidates to be in good academic standing, and be on schedule to graduate within one year of students in their eligibility classification. (As if any of the collegiate awards should fail to have the same minimum requirement!)
Previous Stanford players recognized with a national award include QB Jim Plunkett (1970 Heisman Trophy & Maxwell Award, multiple POY Awards) and WR Troy Walters (1999 Biletnikoff Award).
The 2009 Heisman race gets more interesting now. To win the Heisman, Alabama's Mark Ingram, who has been leading slightly in some polls, would have to benefit from enough regional bias to overcome the fact that fellow running back Toby Gerhart won the Doak Walker Award ahead of him. As expected, giant Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh took home the 2009 Outland Trophy and the Bednarick Award (Defensive Collegiate POY). Texas QB Colt McCoy beat out Tim Tebow for both the Maxwell (Collegiate POY) and the Davey O'Brien (outstanding QB), awarded to the country's top QB.
At The Bootleg we are really sick and tired of hearing about players (read specifically McCoy & Tebow) being recognized with 2009 awards in order to "reward their body of work during a multi-year career". Isn't that what the College Football Hall of Fame should be doing eventually? Why ruin the intent of the "annual" awards? Silly.
The Doak Walker Award is named after SMU's three-time All-American running back and 1948 Heisman Trophy winner Doak Walker. The versatile Walker, who also punted, returned kicks and kicked extra points, led the Southern Methodist Mustangs to two Southwest Conference titles and brought the school into the national spotlight. Walker was drafted by the NFL's Detroit Lions and as a rookie led the league in scoring. During his six years with the Lions, he led the team to two NFL championships and was chosen All-Pro four times. Walker is a member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.
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