The Doak Walker Award is presented annually to the best running back in the nation. This year, LaMichael James of the Oregon Ducks earned this prestigious designation.
James, only a redshirt sophomore, was one of the most important pieces to Oregon’s road to the national championship. Despite not playing in Oregon’s first game of the season, a 72-0 shellacking of the New Mexico Lobos, James managed to lead all NCAA Div. 1 players in rushing yards. He compiled 1,682 yards on 281 carries, an impressive 6 yards-per-carry, while scoring 21 touchdowns on the ground. To add to his rushing totals, he also caught 13 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown. He managed to turn in more games of 200-plus rushing yards (3) than games with less than 100 rushing yards (2). James also finished third in the Heisman voting.
James’ most impressive game was Oregon’s 52-31 win over the Stanford Cardinal. In what became the battle for the PAC-10 championship, he managed to compile a career-high 257 yards on 31 attempts, scoring 3 touchdowns in the process.