Orleans Darkwa has been named a preseason Doak Walker Award candidate for the second straight season.
July 19, 2012
New Orleans - Tulane's Orleans Darkwa has once again been recognized as one of the top running backs in the nation, as the junior is one of 52 preseason candidates selected for the 2012 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 a repeat selection to the Doak Walker Award preseason watch list and is one of four Conference USA running backs on the list, which also includes SMU's Zach Line, UCF senior Latavius Murray and UTEP sophomore Nathan Jeffery.
A year ago, the Nashville, Tenn., native saw action in all 13 games with starts in the final 11 contests and was named first-team All-Louisiana and second-team All C-USA. Darkwa led the team in rushing attempts (210), rushing yards (924), rushing touchdowns (13), receptions (37) and points scored (78) while ranking second in all-purpose yards (1,229) and total offense (958), and fourth in receiving yards (305). He finished third in C-USA in rushing yards per game (71.1) while sitting tied for fourth in points scored via touchdown per game and tied for 10th in overall points per game (6.0), 10th in all-purpose yards per game (94.5).
Darkwa posted a pair of 100-yard rushing efforts with a season-high 138 on 16 carries at Army (10/1) and 123 on 21 totes vs. Houston (11/10) and produced a season-best 196 all-purpose yards on the strength of seven catches for 112 yards - both career highs - including a season-long 31-yarder, to go along with 84 rushing yards on 18 carries vs. Memphis (10/22).
Darkwa became the first Tulane player to lead the team in rushing and receptions in the same season since Mewelde Moore pulled off the feat in 2001 and 2002, and Darkwa is just the fourth running back to lead the team in rushing and receptions in a single season since 1945.
The recipient of the 2012 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 6, on ESPN. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held in Dallas, Texas, in February 2013.
The award, in its 23nd 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.
2012 Doak Walker Award Candidates
Michael Alisa (Jr.), BYU
Montee Ball (Sr.), Wisconsin
Kenjon Barner (Sr.), Oregon
Le′Veon Bell (Jr.), Michigan State
Giovani Bernard (So.), North Carolina
Rex Burkhead (Sr.), Nebraska
Jesse Callier (Jr.), Washington
Benny Cunningham (Sr.), Middle Tennessee
Orleans Darkwa (Jr.), Tulane
Knile Davis (Jr.), Arkansas
Andre Ellington (Sr.), Clemson
Johnathan Franklin (Sr.), UCLA
Ray Graham (Sr.), Pittsburgh
Gee Gee Greene (Sr.), Navy
Jordan Hall (Sr.), Ohio State
D.J. Harper (Sr.), Boise State
John Hubert (Jr.), Kansas State
Michael James (Sr.), Miami
Waymon James (Jr.), TCU
Nathan Jeffery (So.), UTEP
Walter Kazee (Sr.), San Diego State
Eddie Lacy (Jr.), Alabama
Marcus Lattimore (Jr.), South Carolina
Hunter Lee (So.), Louisiana Tech
Zach Line (Sr.), SMU
Raymond Maples (Jr.), Army
Cameron Marshall (Sr.), Arizona State
Onterio McCalebb (Sr.), Auburn
Lyle McCombs (So.), Connecticut
Curtis McNeal (Sr.), USC
Christine Michael (Sr.), Texas A&M
Latavius Murray (Sr.), UCF
Branden Oliver (Jr.), Buffalo
Joseph Randle (Jr.), Oklahoma State
Silas Redd (Jr.), Penn State
Kedrick Rhodes (Jr.), Florida International
Robbie Rouse (Sr.), Fresno State
Jarred Salubi (Sr.), Baylor
Anthon Samuel (So.), Bowling Green
Orwin Smith (Sr.), Georgia Tech
Isi Sofele (Sr.), California
Shawn Southward (Sr.), Troy
Zac Stacy (Sr.), Vanderbilt
Eric Stephens (Sr.), Texas Tech
Stepfan Taylor (Sr.), Stanford
Fitzgerald Toussaint (Jr.), Michigan
Matthew Tucker (Sr.), TCU
James White (Jr.), Iowa State
James White (Jr.), Wisconsin
John White (Sr.), Utah
Kerwynn Williams (Sr.), Utah State
Cierre Wood (Sr.), Notre Dame