14 Jul

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Foreman, Warren Make Award Watch List for the Nation’s Top Running Back

(Image via TexasSports.com)

(Image via TexasSports.com)

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas running back duo D'Onta Foreman (Texas City, Texas) and Chris Warren (Rockwall, Texas) were both named preseason candidates for the 2016 Doak Walker Award on Thursday. The award, presented annually by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum, is given to the nation's top college running back. The duo looks to join a prestigious pair of Longhorns who have won the Doak Walker Award, which began in 1990. Ricky Williams was a two-time winner, in both 1997 and 1998, while Cedric Benson took home the hardware in 2004.

Foreman, who played in last season's first 10 games, was the Longhorns' leading rusher with 681 yards. He had five rushing touchdowns, which was second-most on the team, to go along with four 100-yard games. His first 100-yard game of the season came on 18 carries, as he totaled 112 yards against TCU. The following week, Foreman notched 117 yards on just nine carries in a win over Oklahoma. In a win against Kansas, Foreman had 12 carries for 157 yards and two touchdowns to share offensive MVP honors for the Longhorns. His final 100-yard game of the season came against West Virginia, when he amassed 147 yards prior to suffering an injury.

Warren, who played in eight games as a true freshman, burst onto the scene in the final two games of the season for Texas. He rushed for 470 total yards and added four touchdowns. In his first career start on Thanksgiving night against Texas Tech, Warren set the UT single-game freshman rushing record with 276 rushing yards, breaking Benson's previous record of 213 yards in 2001. He also set the UT single-game freshman record with four rushing touchdowns in that contest, earning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors. In his second career start, Warren rushed 28 times for 106 yards to share team offensive MVP honors in a win at Baylor.

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.

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.