Jones Named Finalist For 2003 Doak Walker Award
Sproles, Perry the other two finalists
December 1, 2003

DALLAS, Texas - The SMU Athletic Forum today announced Kevin Jones of Virginia Tech, Chris Perry of Michigan and Darren Sproles of Kansas State as the three finalists for the 2003 Doak Walker Award, given to the nation's top college running back.

The recipient of the 2003 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on ESPN's The Home Depot College Football Awards at 7 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, Dec. 11. The award will be presented at the 2003 Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet in Dallas on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2004.

Jones, a junior from Chester, Pa., has rushed for a school-record 1,494 yards and 20 touchdowns this season. He also set the school's single-game record with 241 yards against Pittsburgh on Nov. 8. He was named first-team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America.

Perry, a senior from Advance, N.C., has rushed for 1,589 yards and gained an additional 366 yards receiving. The Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year finished the regular season ranked fourth nationally in rushing yards per game and total rushing yards. His 154 yards and two touchdowns helped Michigan secure a victory over defending national champion Ohio State, earning the Big Ten title and a BCS bowl berth for the Wolverines.

Sproles, a junior from Olathe, Kan., finished the regular season with an NCAA Division I-A leading 1,713 yards on 271 carries. Rushing for more than 100 yards in eight games this season, Sproles ranked second nationally with 177 all-purpose yards per game and is the career, single-season and single-game rushing record holder at Kansas State. Sproles' performance helped lead the Wildcats to the Big XII North title.

In addition to skills on the field, candidates for the Doak Walker Award must have demonstrated records of leadership and exhibited the characteristics of sportsmanship and fair play associated with Doak Walker.

"Doak was an outstanding football player as well as an outstanding human being," said Craig James, SMU alumnus and member of the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee. "The recipient of this award should consider it a great honor to be associated with Doak Walker and all that he stood for."

"We are honored to have these three young men as finalists for the Doak Walker Award. They have distinguished themselves with outstanding seasons, and we are proud to recognize them," said Randall Goss, Chairman of the SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors.

Felix "Doc" Blanchard and Glenn Davis, former Army star running backs, were jointly named the recipients of the 2003 PricewaterhouseCoopers Doak Walker Legends Award, which was created to honor former running backs who excelled at the collegiate level and also distinguished themselves as leaders in their communities. Blanchard and Davis will also be honored at the banquet.