The PwC SMU Athletic Forum announced today that Clemson running back Travis Etienne has been named one of three finalists for the 2020 Doak Walker Award, presented annually to the nation’s top running back. Along with C.J. Spiller (2009), Etienne is one of two Doak Walker Award finalists in Clemson history and, including his finalist selection in 2018, becomes the first two-time finalist in school annals.
Additional details from award organizers are included below.
DALLAS – The PwC SMU Athletic Forum today announced Travis Etienne of Clemson, Breece Hall of Iowa State and Najee Harris of Alabama as finalists for the 2020 Doak Walker Award. The Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee ranked the semifinalists to determine the finalists.
The Committee will cast a second ballot to determine the recipient of the 2020 Doak Walker Award. The recipient will be announced live during The Home Depot College Football Awards which will be televised on ESPN on Thursday, January 7, at 7 p.m. (ET).
Etienne, a senior from Jennings, Louisiana has accounted for 15 touchdowns this season and is the only running back in the nation with over 500 receiving yards (524). He rushed for 124 yards on only 10 carries to help lead Clemson to a victory over Notre Dame in the 2020 ACC Championship game. Etienne is the ACC’s all-time leader in rushing and career touchdowns. He joins 1999 Doak Walker Award recipient Ron Dayne as the only players in FBS history to score at least 13 rushing touchdowns in four different seasons. Etienne and the Tigers will face Ohio State in a College Football Playoff Semifinal game on Jan 1.
Hall, a sophomore from Wichita, Kansas leads the nation in total rushing yards (1,436). He is the only back in the nation to rush for over 100 yards in eight games this season and led the Big 12 averaging 130.5 rushing yards per game. Hall, who was selected as the Big 12 offensive player of the year, led Iowa State to their first appearance in the 2020 Big 12 Championship game where the Cyclones fell 27-21 to Oklahoma. Iowa State will face Oregon in their first-ever New Year’s Six bowl appearance in the Fiesta Bowl on January 2.
Harris, a senior from Antioch, California leads the nation with 27 touchdowns. He is the SEC leader in total rushing yards (1,262) and rushing yards per game (114.7) and ranks third and 10th respectfully in those rushing categories. Harris accounted for 245 yards from scrimmage and a record five touchdowns in Alabama’s victory over Florida in the 2020 SEC Championship game. In the SEC Championship game, Harris became Alabama’s career rushing leader with 3,592 yards surpassing 2015 Doak Walker Award winner Derrick Henry. Harris and the Crimson Tide will face Notre Dame in a College Football Playoff Semifinal game on Jan 1.
In addition to outstanding performance on the field, candidates for the Doak Walker Award must have demonstrated records of leadership and exhibited the characteristics of sportsmanship and fair play associated with Doak Walker.
The award is named after three-time SMU All-America running back and 1948 Heisman Trophy winner Doak Walker. The versatile Walker, who also punted, returned kicks and kicked extra points, led the Mustangs to two Southwest Conference Championships and brought the school into the national spotlight. Walker was drafted by the Detroit Lions and as a rookie led the league in scoring. During his six years with the Lions, he led the team to two NFL championships and was chosen All-Pro four times. Walker is a member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.