Locke on Doak Walker list

Kentucky tailback Derrick Locke crosses the goal line in front of Georgia defender Marcus Washington (44) during the first half Saturday nigh in Athens.

University of Kentucky senior tailback Derrick Locke has been named to the Doak Walker Award Watch List, which is presented annually to the nation’s top college running back.

Locke, a native of Hugo, Okla., led UK in rushing last season with 907 yards and six touchdowns. In his career at Kentucky, Locke has gained 1,731 rushing yards, good for 10th on Kentucky’s all-time rushing list. The native of Hugo, Okla., is in the Kentucky history books as the only player in school history to have two 100-yard kickoff returns in a career. He enters the season holding the UK career record for kickoff returns with a 27.4-yard average. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound tailback is also dangerous in the passing game, catching 31 passes for 284 yards last season, including two catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns in UK’s road win against Georgia.

The field of candidates is highlighted by the nation’s leading returning rusher, Dion Lewis from Pitt; 2009 Doak Walker Award finalist and Heisman Trophy recipient, Mark Ingram from the University of Alabama; and Ryan Williams from Virginia Tech who ranked third nationally and led the ACC in rushing last season.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will select the semifinalists on November 10, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the finalists, who will be announced on November 22. The Committee will cast a second vote beginning on November 29 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 2010 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on ESPN on The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards on Thursday, December 9.

The award, in its 21st 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.

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