MANHATTAN, Kan. - Junior running back Darren Sproles, Kansas State's all-time leading rusher, was named one of eight semifinalists for the 2003 Doak Walker Award, the SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors announced Wednesday. The annual award has recognized the top running back in college football since 1990.
The 144 members of the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast their votes later this week to determine the 2003 recipient of the award. On Monday, Dec. 1, three finalists will be named, and, on Thursday, Dec. 11, the recipient of the 2003 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on ESPN's Home Depot College Football Awards.
The award will be presented at the 2003 Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet in Dallas on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2004. Felix "Doc" Blanchard and Glenn Davis, former Army star running backs, were jointly named the recipients of the 2003 PricewaterhouseCoopers Doak Walker Legends Award and will also be honored at the banquet.
Sproles, K-State's career rushing leader with 3,115 yards, currently ranks 11th in the NCAA and second among Big 12 players in rushing with 120.00 yards per game and second nationally in total rushing yards with 1,440 - just 42 yards behind national leader Michael Turner of Northern Illinois, who has 57 more carries. His 6.32 yards per carry ties for seventh nationally and is fourth among running backs, but is tops among players with 200 or more carries.
His 1,440 yards in 12 games this year ranks 12th all-time on the Big 12's single-season chart and second in school history. He needs just 26 yards Saturday vs. Missouri to re-set the school rushing mark for the second consecutive year (1,465 yards; 2002) and is the only Wildcat to rush for over 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons.
The junior became just the seventh Wildcat to rush for 200 yards in a game with his 201-yard effort against Iowa State on Nov. 8. He has also rushed for over 100 yards this season vs. California (175), Baylor (155), UMass (152), Nebraska (141), Texas (128), McNeese State (101), with near misses vs. Kansas (98) and Colorado (90) and enters Saturday’s game vs. Missouri with a K-State record 17 career 100-yard rushing performances.
Sproles also leads the nation total all-purpose yards with 2,012 and is the only player in the country to have topped 2,000 yards in that category this season.
2003 Doak Walker Award Semifinalists
Darren Sproles (Jr.) - Kansas State
Steven Jackson (Jr.) - Oregon State
Kevin Jones (Jr.) - Virginia Tech
Derrick Knight (Sr.) - Boston College
Chris Perry (Sr.) - Michigan
Michael Turner (Sr.) - Northern Illinois
Shaud Williams (Sr.) - Alabama
Quincy Wilson (Sr.) - West Virginia