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DALLAS – The Guaranty Bank SMU Athletic Forum announced today candidates for the 2009 Doak Walker Award. The award is presented annually to the nation’s top college running back. Among the candidates is Ohio State’s Dan “Boom” Herron, who last year rushed for 439 yards and six touchdowns

The field of candidates includes the nation’s leading returning rusher, MiQuale Lewis, from Ball State. Other candidates include the leading returning rushers from the Pac 10 (Jahvid Best, California, Berkley); the Big 12 (Kendal Hunter, Oklahoma State) and the ACC (Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech).

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

Armando Allen (Jr.), Notre Dame

André Anderson (Sr.), Tulane

Reggie Arnold (Sr.), Arkansas State

Baron Batch (Jr.), Texas Tech

Jahvid Best (Jr.), California, Berkeley

LeGarrette Blount (Sr.), Oregon

Chris Brown (Sr.), Oklahoma

Donald Buckram (Jr.), UTEP

John Clay (So.), Wisconsin

DaJuane Collins (Sr.), Toledo

Jeff Demps (So.), Florida

Noel Devine (Jr.), West Virginia

Andre Dixon (Sr.), Connecticut

Shaun Draughn (Jr.), North Carolina

Jonathan Dwyer (Jr.), Georgia Tech

Jamelle Eugene (Sr.), North Carolina State

Darren Evans (So.), Virginia Tech

Damion Fletcher (Sr.), Southern Mississippi

Toby Gerhart (Sr.), Stanford

Cyrus Gray (So.), Texas A&M

Nicolas (Nic) Grigsby (Jr.), Arizona

DuJuan Harris (Jr.), Troy

Roy Helu, Jr. (Jr.), Nebraska

Daniel Herron (So.), Ohio State

Kendall Hunter (Jr.), Oklahoma State

Mark Ingram (So.), Alabama

Eugene Jarvis (Sr.), Kent State

MiQuale Lewis (Sr.), Ball State

Darius Marshall (Jr.), Marshall

Brandon Minor (Sr.), Michigan

DeMarco Murray (Jr.), Oklahoma

Daniel Porter (Sr.), Louisiana Tech

Jacquizz Rodgers (So.), Oregon State

Charles Scott (Sr.), LSU

Da’Rel Scott (Jr.), Maryland

Jake Sharp (Sr.), Kansas

Michael Smith (Sr.), Arkansas

C.J. Spiller (Sr.), Clemson

James Starks (Sr.), Buffalo

Curtis Steele (Sr.), Memphis

Phillip Tanner (Sr.), Middle Tennessee State

Vai Taua (Jr.), Nevada

Jordan Todman (So.), Connecticut

Joseph Turner (Sr.), TCU

Brandon West (Sr.), Western Michigan

The Guaranty Bank SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will select the semifinalists on November 11, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the finalists, who will be announced on November 23. The committee will cast a second vote beginning on November 30 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 2009 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on ESPN on The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards on Thursday, December 10. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas, on Friday, February 19, 2010.

The award, in its 20th 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 classification.

Honoring the legends of sports for 20 years, the Guaranty Bank SMU Athletic Forum celebrates outstanding success in athletics.  Based in Dallas, the series features major figures from a variety of sports.  The Guaranty Bank SMU Athletic Forum includes four luncheons and the prestigious Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet.

The Doak Walker Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s official website, ncfaa.org

-www.doakwalkeraward.com-