LOGAN, Utah – Utah State junior running back Joe Hill is one of 63 candidates for the 2013 Doak Walker Award it was announced by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum Thursday. The Doak Walker Award is presented annually to the nation’s top college running back.
Hill is one of just two Mountain West players nominated for the Doak Walker Award along with San Diego State’s Adam Muema. Hill is also one of three players among the 63 candidates from the state of Utah joining Michael Alisa and Jamaal Williams of BYU.
A native of Fullerton, Calif. (Fullerton HS), Hill rushed for 269 yards on 43 carries (4.8 ypc) with seven touchdowns as a sophomore in 2012, all of which ranked third on the team, while also catching 10 passes for 183 yards (18.3 ypr) with two touchdowns. As a sophomore, Hill recorded his first career 100-yard rushing game in the season opener against Southern Utah (8/30) as he had 11 carries for 116 yards with three touchdowns, all of which are career-highs. His best receiving game of the 2012 season was against UNLV (9/29) as he had a career-high three catches for a career-best 88 yards, including a career-long of 65 yards.
The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name the semifinalists on November 14, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the finalists, who will be announced on November 25. The committee will cast a second vote beginning on December 2 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 2013 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 12, on ESPN. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held in Dallas, Texas, in February of 2014.
The award, in its 24th year, 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.
Utah State returns 49 lettermen (offense-23, defense-22, specialists-4) and 18 starters (offense-8, defense-7, specialists-3) from its most successful team in school history as USU ended the 2012 season with a school-best 11-2 record as it set school records for wins (11) and home wins (6), while recording just its second bowl win in school history with a 41-15 victory against Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. USU also won its first outright conference championship since 1936, as it went 6-0 in the Western Athletic Conference, and just its third in school history joining the 1921 and 1936 teams that both won Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference titles.
Utah State ended the 2012 season nationally ranked for just the third time in school history as it finished the year ranked 16th in the Associated Press poll, 17th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ poll and 22nd in the Bowl Championship Series standings. USU also finished the 2012 season winning its final seven games, which is tied for the fourth-longest active winning streak in the nation and tied for the third-longest winning streak in school history.
Utah State will open the 2013 season on Thursday, Aug. 29 at Utah and play its first Mountain West game the following weekend at Air Force on Saturday, Sept. 7. USU’s first home game of the 2013 campaign will be on Saturday, Sept. 14 against Weber State, while its first home Mountain West game will be on Saturday, Oct. 12 against Boise State.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
– USU –