Nov. 8, 2007
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Tulane University football standout Matt Forté was named one of 15 semi-finalists for the 71st Maxwell Award for the Collegiate Player of the Year, Maxwell Football Club President Ron Jaworski announced Thursday.
Forté is the only student-athlete from a non-BCS league on the list and is one of seven running backs, joining Michigan's Mike Hart, Arkansas' Darren McFadden, Illinois' Rashard Mendenhall, Rutgers' Ray Rice, West Virginia's Steve Slaton and Oregon's Jonathan Stewart.
A late addition to the Maxwell Award Watch List, Forté currently leads all NCAA Division I-Bowl Subdivision players in rushing yards (1,642) and rushing yards per game (182.44) while ranking third in all-purpose yards per game (205.89) and 11th in scoring (9.80 ppg). His 15 rushing touchdowns currently ranks tied for fourth nationally.
At his current pace, Forté would finish the season with the highest yards-per-game average since LaDainian Tomlinson of TCU averaged 196.2 in 2000. His projected yardage total of 2,189 would rank third-highest in NCAA single-season history behind USC's Marcus Allen (2,342 in 1981) and Oklahoma State's Barry Sanders (2,628 in 1988).
Forté owns three of the top six individual-game rushing performances in the nation in 2007: No. 1 with 342 yards and four touchdowns vs. SMU (Oct. 20), No. 3 with 303 yards and five touchdowns vs. Southeastern Louisiana (Sept. 22), and No. 6 with 278 yards and two scores vs. Memphis (Oct. 27).
He has five 200-plus yard rushing games - including a pair of 300-yard ballgames - making him the only NCAA DI-BSD player to accomplish that feat this season. Over the last seven games, Forté has run for 1,510 yards and 14 touchdowns - including 1,031 yards and nine scores in the month of October along - and is averaging 215.7 yards per game during that span.
A two-time Walter Camp Football Foundation National Offensive Player of the Week honoree in 2007, Forté also holds five of the Top 62 single-game all-purpose yard performances this season and is one of only two non-quarterbacks to rank in the NCAA's Top 100 in total offense. Of the two non-QBs, Forté is tops among the pair ranking 85th with 182.4 yards per game (all rushing).
The announcement of the Maxwell Award winner will be made during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show that will be broadcast on ESPN on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007. The three finalists for the award will be in attendance for the ESPN broadcast and the formal presentation will be made at the Maxwell Football Club's Awards Dinner on Friday, March 7, 2008, at the Harrahs Entertainment Complex in Atlantic City, N.J.
Forté and the Green Wave return to action on Saturday, Oct. 10, when they take on league foe UTEP at 6 p.m. in the Louisiana Superdome. The game against the Miners is the final home game of the 2007 season, and Tulane's 14-member senior class will be honored with a special ceremony prior to kickoff.
Tickets for Tulane's home finale are on sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. Tickets can be purchased in person, over the telephone at (504) 861-WAVE or via the internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.
Semifinalists for the 71st Maxwell Award
Player Name School Position Year Brian Brohm University of Louisville QB Sr. Michael Crabtree Texas Tech WR Fr. Chase Daniel University of Missouri QB Jr. Dennis Dixon University of Oregon QB Sr. Matt Forté Tulane University RB Sr. Mike Hart University of Michigan RB Sr. Darren McFadden University of Arkansas RB Jr. Rashard Mendenhall University of Illinois RB Jr. Ray Rice Rutgers University RB Jr. Matt Ryan Boston College QB Sr. Steve Slaton West Virginia University RB Sr. Jonathan Stewart University of Oregon RB Jr. Tim Tebowe University of Florida QB So. Pat White West Virginia University QB Jr. Andre Woodson University of Kentucky QB Sr.