LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky junior running back Benny Snell Jr. has been named a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award given to the nation’s top running back, it was announced Wednesday. The three finalists will be announced on November 20 with the winner announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards in Atlanta Thursday, December 6 on ESPN.
Snell Jr. (Westerville, Ohio) has rushed for 1,089 yards and 10 touchdowns this season, ranking second in the Southeastern Conference and 15th nationally with 108.9 yards per game. He also ranks second in the SEC in all-purpose yardage (119.4 yards per game) and fourth in rushing touchdowns (10).
Snell was chosen a second-team Midseason All-American by The Associated Press and The Athletic, and is also a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award. He has helped lead Kentucky to a 7-3 record and the Wildcats have completed a winning season in SEC play (5-3) for the first time in 41 years.
Although only a junior, Snell is second in school history in career rushing with 3,513 yards and he holds the UK career marks for rushing touchdowns (42) and total touchdowns (42). He is the first player in school history with three 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
Among juniors in FBS, Snell currently has the third-most career rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. He also is just the third player in SEC history to have at least 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing in each of his first three seasons, joining Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker and two-time Heisman runner-up Darren McFadden.
The Award is named after three-time SMU All-America running back and 1948 Heisman Trophy winner Doak Walker. Walker, who also punted, returned kicks and kicked extra points, led the Mustangs to two Southwest Conference Championships. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions and led the league in scoring his rookie year. During his six years with the Lions, he led the team to two NFL championships and was chosen All-Pro four times. Walker is a member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.
The 10 semifinalists are:
Eno Benjamin (So.) Arizona State
A.J. Dillon (So.)
Travis Etienne (So.) Clemson
Darrell Henderson (Jr.) Memphis
Karan Higdon (Sr.) Michigan
Benny Snell (Jr.) Kentucky
Devin Singletary (Jr.) Florida Atlantic
J.J. Taylor (So.)
Jonathan Taylor (So.) Wisconsin
Trayveon Williams (Jr.) Texas A&M