McCombs Drawing Attention

Running back Lyle McCombs is getting some national attention. It's based on his performance as a freshman, of course, but the UConn sophomore is clearly on the radar heading into the 2012 season.

McCombs, from Staten Island, N.Y., was named a candidate for the 2012 Doak Walker Award on Wednesday. Award by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum, the award is presented annually to the nation's top college running back.

After his surprising debut season with the Huskies, McCombs was named a freshman All-American by the Football Writer's Association of America and was a second team All-Big East selection. He ranked 29th in the nation and second in the conference as well as second among freshmen with 95.92 rushing yards per game. McCombs rushed for 1,151 yards to become the 14th Husky player to reach the 1,000-yard marker. He averaged 4.2 yards per carry and ran for seven touchdowns.

The field of 52 candidates is highlighted by 2011 Doak Walker Award finalist Montee Ball from the University of Wisconsin. Ball, a senior from Wentzville, Missouri, led the nation in rushing yards and scoring last season. Other nominees include 2011 semifinalists Rex Burkhead (Nebraska), Zach Line (SMU) and Joseph Randle (Oklahoma State).

McCombs has also been named to the Maxwell Award watch list, given annually to the nation's top collegiate player.

The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name the semifinalists on Nov. 9, and the Doak Walker Award national selection committee will cast votes to determine the finalists, who will be announced on Nov. 19. The committee will cast a second vote beginning on Nov 26 to determine the recipient. 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 2012 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 6, on ESPN. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held in Dallas, Texas, in Feb. 2013.

The award, in its 23rd year, is named for SMU's three-time All-America 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 cla

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