Ore named a 2006 Doak Walker Award candidate
Sophomore one of 50 nominated
August 31, 2006

DALLAS, Texas - The Guaranty Bank SMU Athletic Forum announced Thursday the candidates for the 2006 Doak Walker Award, presented annually to the nation's top college running back. Among the 50 candidates is Virginia Tech redshirt sophomore Branden Ore, who takes over as Tech's featured back.

The field of candidates includes Louisville senior Michael Bush who led the nation in scoring (14.4 points per game) in 2005; Auburn senior Kenny Irons who was the SEC's leading rusher (1,293 yards) last season; California junior Marshawn Lynch who is the nation's second-ranked returning rusher (1,246 yards); Oklahoma junior Adrian Peterson who led Big 12 running backs in rushing (1,108 yards) in 2005; and Northern Illinois senior Garrett Wolfe, the nation's leading returning rusher (1,580 yards).

The Guaranty Bank SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will select the semifinalists on Nov. 15, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will vote to determine the finalists on Nov. 16. The committee will cast a second vote on Nov. 27 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 2006 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on ESPN along with other NCFAA member awards on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 7. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held at The Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2007.

Former USC running back Reggie Bush, first-round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints, won the 2005 Doak Walker Award.

The award, in its 17th 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.

The complete list of candidates, who were nominated by their universities, follows:

Josh Allen (Sr.), Maryland
Micah Andrews (Jr.), Wake Forest
Toney Baker (So.), NC State
Lance Ball (Jr.), Maryland
Adam Ballard (Jr.), Navy
Kyle Bell (Jr.), Colorado State
Yvenson Bernard (Jr.), Oregon State
Lorenzo Booker (Sr.), Florida State
Ahmad Bradshaw (Jr.), Marshall
Aaron Brown (So.), TCU
Andre Brown (So.), NC State
Curtis Brown (Sr.), BYU
Thomas Brown (Jr.), Georgia
Michael Bush (Sr.), Louisville
Hugh Charles (Jr.), Colorado
Tashard Choice (Jr.), Georgia Tech
Kenneth Darby (Sr.), Alabama
James Davis (So.), Clemson
BenJarvis Green-Ellis (Jr.), Mississippi
Lynell Hamilton (Sr.), San Diego State
Mike Hart (Jr.), Michigan
Keegan Herring (So.), Arizona State
Stevie Hicks (Sr.), Iowa State
Kenny Irons (Sr.), Auburn
Brian Leonard (Sr.), Rutgers
Rafael Little (Jr.), Kentucky
Kregg Lumpkin (Jr.), Georgia
Marshawn Lynch (Jr.), California
Chris Markey (Jr.), UCLA
DeMyron Martin (So.), SMU
Darren McFadden (So.), Arkansas
Ronnie McGill (Sr.), North Carolina
Robert Merrill (Sr.), TCU
Tyrone Moss (Sr.), Miami (FL)
Brandon Murphy (Jr.), Miami (Ohio)
Branden Ore (So.), Virginia Tech
Adrian Peterson (Jr.), Oklahoma
Antonio Pittman (Jr.), Ohio State
Kory Sheets (Jr.), Purdue
Steve Slaton (So.), West Virginia
Ontario Sneed (So.), Central Michigan
Tyrell Sutton (So.), Northwestern
Jamario Thomas (Jr.), North Texas
Marcus Thomas (So.), UTEP
Pierre Thomas (Sr.), Illinois
Justin Vincent (Sr.), LSU
Darius Walker (Jr.), Notre Dame
Garrett Wolfe (Sr.), Northern Illinois
Albert Young (Jr.), Iowa
Selvin Young (Sr.), Texas