DALLAS, TEXAS - North Carolina sophomore Giovani Bernard has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the 2012 Doak Walker Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top tailback. The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors announced Friday the 10 semifinalists and they are:
Montee Ball (Sr.), Wisconsin
Kenjon Barner (Sr.), Oregon
Le'Veon Bell (Jr.), Michigan State
Giovani Bernard (So.), North Carolina
David Fluellen (Jr.), Toledo
Johnathan Franklin (Sr.), UCLA
Stefphon Jefferson (Jr.), Nevada
Venric Mark (Jr.), Northwestern
Joseph Randle (Jr.), Oklahoma State
Stepfan Taylor (Sr.), Stanford
Bernard leads the nation in punt return average, is third in the country in all-purpose yards and scoring per game and is fifth in rushing yards per game. He has rushed 126 times for 930 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also has 32 receptions for 319 yards and three touchdowns, and 12 punt returns for 249 yards and two touchdowns.
Bernard is averaging 132.9 yards rushing per game and 7.4 yards per rush. He is averaging 8.8 yards per touch. Bernard’s 15 touchdowns this year already ties the fifth-most in a season by a Tar Heel (Amos Lawrence, 1980). He has 29 career touchdowns in 20 games, including 23 rushing scores, four receiving and two punt returns.
Bernard’s career rushing average of 109.2 is higher than the ACC record of 107.0 held by NC State’s Ted Brown.
Members of the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast their votes to determine the 2012 finalists. On Monday, November 19, three finalists will be named. A second vote by the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will determine the recipient. The 2012 Doak Walker Award recipient will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 6, on ESPN.
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.
Honoring the legends of sports for 23 years, the PwC SMU Athletic Forum celebrates outstanding success in athletics. Based in Dallas, the series features major figures from a variety of sports. The PwC SMU Athletic Forum includes four luncheons and the prestigious Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet.
The Doak Walker Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game's predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association's official website, www.ncfaa.org.