DALLAS – Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray were named preseason candidates for the 2014 Doak Walker Award, which honors the top running back in the nation.
Brown and Gray, who formed a solid one-two backfield punch last season for the
Gray, a junior from Aledo, Texas, posted 780 rushing yards last season despite missing time with an Achilles injury. His rushing total ranked ninth in the Big 12 Conference even though he missed nearly five games after getting injured vs. West Virginia (Nov. 9). Gray tallied 90 or more rushing yards in five games in 2013 and ranks 28th on the school's all-time rushing list (1,481).
Last season, Brown posted a team-high 904 rushing yards, playing in all 13 games with four starts. He had five 100-yard rushing games, becoming the 11th player in Texas history to post five or more in a season.
A native of Cibolo, Texas, Brown picked up the slack after Gray was injured last season. Brown averaged 105.1 rushing yards over the last eight games (841 total yards) and eight of his team-high nine rushing touchdowns occurred in the final seven contests.
Heading into his senior year, Brown ranks No. 17 on the UT all-time rushing yards list (1,970).
Brown and Gray are also on the watch list for the Maxwell Award, which honors the top player in college football.
The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name the semifinalists on Nov. 18, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the finalists, who will be announced on Nov. 24. The committee will cast a second vote beginning on Dec. 1 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 2014 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 11, on ESPN. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held in Dallas, Texas, in February 2015.
The award, in its 25th year, is named for SMU's three-time All-America running back Doak Walker.
A Longhorn has won the award three times. Ricky Williams captured the award in 1997 and 1998, and Cedric Benson in 2004. Williams and Darren McFadden of Arkansas (2006-07) are the only two-time winners.