DALLAS – University of Hawai’i senior running back Joey Iosefa was among the early group of players selected to the preseason watch list for the 2014 Doak Walker Award, announced by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum. The award is presented annually to the nation’s top college running back.
In 2013, Iosefa started five games during an injury-plagued season but still led the team with 590 yards rushing on 126 carries and five touchdowns. In the final four games of the season, the Pago Pago, American Samoa, native posted three 100-yard rushing games, including a career-high 191 yards at Navy. He also set the UH single-game record with 37 career against San Diego State.
Iosefa is the third UH player who was selected to a preseason watch list, joining Scott Harding (Paul Hornung Award) and Ben Clarke (Lombardi Award).
The last UH running back selected to the Doak Walker Award Watch List was Avion Weaver in 2000. Other recent candidates included Charles Tharp (1998) and Quincy Jacobs (1997).
The field of candidates is highlighted by Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah, who is the nation’s leading returning rusher after compiling 1,690 in 2013. Other nominees include 2013 Doak Walker Award semifinalists Mike Davis (South Carolina) and Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin).
The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name the semifinalists on November 18, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the finalists, who will be announced on November 24. The committee will cast a second vote beginning on December 1 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 2014 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 11, on ESPN. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held in Dallas, Texas, in February 2015.
The award, in its 25th 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.