Jefferson, Linwood Selected As Doak Walker Award Candidates

Posted at 9:22 PM, Jul 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-14 22:22:35-04

DALLAS – Baylor running backs Johnny Jefferson and Shock Linwood were named preseason candidates for the 2016 Doak Walker Award, the PwC SMU Athletic Forum announced Thursday. The award is given annually to nation's top college running back.

This marks the third-straight season that Linwood, a senior, has made the preseason Doak Walker Award list. He was the starting running back for the Bears in the first 12 games of the 2015 season, before missing the bowl game due to injury. In his junior campaign, Linwood totaled 1,329 yards and 10 TDs on 196 carries and added 71 yards and a TD on nine receptions. He earned second-team All-Big 12 honors from the AP, league coaches, Athlon, ESPN, Phil Steele and Waco Tribune-Herald. Linwood ranked seventh nationally and second in the Big 12 with 6.78 yards per carry. He was also ranked 20th nationally and fourth in the conference with 110.8 yards per game. The Linden, Texas, native is on the preseason Maxwell list for a third-straight season.

Last week, Linwood was one of three Bears to be on the Maxwell Award watch list.

Last season, Jefferson played in 11 of 13 games and started once as a sophomore. He had a breakout game in the bowl win over No. 10 North Carolina, setting four BU and Russell Athletic Bowl records with 299 yards and three touchdowns rushing, while being named the game MVP. Jefferson totaled 1,000 yards and eight TDs on 136 carries, caught four passes for 17 yards, completed one of four passes for 24 yards and returned one kick for 24 yards on the season. The Killeen, Texas, product ranked third nationally and led the Big 12 with 7.35 average yards per rush (third-best average on BU single-season chart). Jefferson ranked seventh in the Big 12 with 90.9 rushing yards per game.

In total there are 76 running backs on the 2016 watch list.

The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name ten semifinalists on November 16, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the three finalists, who will be announced on November 22. The committee will cast a second vote beginning November 28 to determine the recipient. The National Selection Committee consists of past recipients, former NFL All-Pro and college All-America running backs, media members and selected special representatives.

The recipient of the 2016 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 8, on ESPN. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held in Dallas in early 2017.

The award, which will name its 27th recipient in 2016, 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.