Doak Walker Award: LaMichael James
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.