July 18, 2013
New Orleans - For the third straight year, Tulane running back Orleans Darkwa has been recognized as one of the top running backs in the nation, as the senior is one of 63 preseason candidates selected for the 2013 Doak Walker Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top college running back, it was announced today by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum.
Darkwa is the third Green Wave player named to a national preseason watch list for the 2013 football campaign. He joins classmates Ryan Grant (Biletnikoff) and Cairo Santos (Lou Groza) who are also up for national honors.
A native of Nashville, Tenn., Darkwa was previously named a preseason candidate for the Doak Walker Award in 2011 and 2012.
Darkwa's selection comes following an injury-plagued 2012 campaign which limited him to nine games and five starts when he had a team-best three rushing touchdowns while carrying the ball 81 times for 241 yards and pulling down 15 receptions for 78 yards through the air. His best day last season came vs. UAB on Oct. 27 when he ran 20 times for 74 yards while catching three passes for 20 yards in the Green Wave's win.
For his career, Darkwa ranks fourth in Tulane history with 27 rushing touchdowns, is tied for fifth with seven 100-yard rushing games, eighth with 2,090 rushing yards and 63.33 rushing yards per game, and tied for 3ighth with 475 rushing attempts.
Despite his injury, Darkwa has already been named to Phil Steele's Preseason All-Conference USA second team.
A three-year letterman, Darkwa has played in 33 games with 22 starts and rushed for 2,090 yards and 27 touchdowns on 475 carries (4.4 avg.), hauled in 69 passes for 538 yards (7.8 avg.). He has also returned eight kickoffs for 150 yards (18.8 avg.) and completed 3-of-5 passes for 77 yards (15.4 avg.) and a pair of touchdowns for his career.
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 2013.
The award, in its 24nd 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.
2013 Doak Walker Award Candidates
Ameer Abdullah (Jr.), Nebraska
Michael Alisa (Sr.), BYU
Antonio Andrews (Sr.), Western Kentucky
Dri Archer (Sr.), Kent State
Brendan Bigelow (Jr.), California
Beau Blankenship (Sr.), Ohio
Alfred Blue (Sr.), LSU
Dominique Brown (Jr.), Louisville
Ka'Deem Carey (Jr.), Arizona
B.J. Catalon (So.), TCU
Orleans Darkwa (Sr.), Tulane
Kenneth Dixon (So.), Louisiana Tech
Trayion Durham (Jr.), Kent State
Jahwan Edwards (Jr.), Ball State
David Fluellen (Sr.), Toledo
D.J. Foster (So.), Arizona State
Melvin Gordon (So.), Wisconsin
Marion Grice (Sr.), Arizona State
Todd Gurley (So.), Georgia
Joe Hill (Jr.), Utah State
John Hubert (Sr.), Kansas State
Carlos Hyde (Sr.), Ohio State
Waymon James (Sr.), TCU
Duke Johnson (So.), Miami
Storm Johnson (Jr.), UCF
Matt Jones (So.), Florida
Henry Josey (Jr.), Missouri
Ben Malena (Sr.), Texas A&M
Raymond Maples (Sr.), Army
Venric Mark (Sr.), Northwestern
Keith Marshall (So.), Georgia
Glasco Martin (Sr.), Baylor
Tre Mason (Jr.), Auburn
Lyle McCombs (Jr.), Connecticut
Adam Muema (Jr.), San Diego State
David Oku (Sr.), Arkansas State
Branden Oliver (Sr.), Buffalo
Jordan Parker (So.), Middle Tennessee
LaDarius Perkins (Sr.), Mississippi State
Senorise Perry (Sr.), Louisville
Christian Powell (So.), Colorado
Darrin Reaves (Jr.), UAB
Silas Redd (Sr.), USC
Bishop Sankey (Jr.), Washington
Lache Seastrunk (Jr.), Baylor
David Sims (Sr.), Georgia Tech
James Sims (Sr.), Kansas
Kiero Small (Sr.), Arkansas
Jeremy Smith (Sr.), Oklahoma State
Jerome Smith (Jr.), Syracuse
De'Anthony Thomas (Jr.), Oregon
Zurlon Tipton (Sr.), Central Michigan
Trey Watts (Sr.), Tulsa
Mark Weisman (Jr.), Iowa
James White (Sr.), Iowa State
James White (Sr.), Wisconsin
Andre Williams (Sr.), Boston College
Damien Williams (Sr.), Oklahoma
Jamaal Williams (So.), BYU
Jonathan Williams (Sr.), Arkansas
Storm Woods (So.), Oregon State
T.J. Yeldon (So.), Alabama
Zach Zwinak (Jr.), Penn State