LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky sophomore running back Benny Snell Jr. (pictured) is a preseason candidate for the 2017 Doak Walker Award, it was announced recently. The award annually is given to the nation’s top college running back.
Snell, from Westerville, Ohio, earned a spot on Athlon’s 2017 preseason Southeastern Conference third-team offense after a stellar freshman season. He set six UK freshman records, including most rushing touchdowns in a game (4), most rushing yards by a freshman (1,091), most rushing touchdowns by a freshman (13), most total touchdowns by a freshman (13), most 100-yard rushing games (5) and most rushing yards by a freshman in a single game (192). He was named a Freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America, ESPN and 247Sports.
The award is named for SMU’s three-time All-America running back Doak Walker. It honors the nation’s top back but also requires all candidates be in good academic standing and on schedule to graduate within one year of other students of the same classifications.
The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name 10 semifinalists on Nov. 15, with three finalists, as voted on by the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee, announced on Nov. 20. The winner will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 7 on ESPN.
QB Johnson on Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch List
UK senior quarterback Stephen Johnson has been named to the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Watch List, it was announced recently.
After an injury to sophomore quarterback Drew Barker just two games into the season, Johnson stepped in vs. New Mexico State and provided a veteran and calming presence. He went 5-4 as a starter, completing 145-of-265 passes for 2,037 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also carried the ball 97 times for 327 yards and three scores.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Californian will forever hold a place in Kentucky fans’ hearts in leading UK to a thrilling upset of the 11th-ranked Louisville Cardinals in the regular-season finale (41-38). Also guiding UK to a pair of come-from-behind wins in relief roles, Johnson led the Cats to their best record in seven years and a bowl game for the first time since 2010.
The Golden Arm Award is awarded based on a player’s accomplishments both on and off the field. Candidates must be a college senior or fourth-year junior on schedule to graduate with their class. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the award and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation.
The Golden Arm Award committee will announced the Top 15 finalists in September and the presentation to the winner will be Friday, Dec. 8. For more information, visit www.goldenarmfoundation.com.
UK Athletics Photo