Utah State’s Devante Mays named to Doak Walker Award watch list

Utah State's Devante Mays scores a touchdown against Fresno State during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Fresno, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State senior running back Devante Mays has been named to the 2016 Doak Walker Award Watch List, it was announced Thursday by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum and the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The award is presented annually to the nation’s top college running back.

Mays is one of 76 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) running backs named to the preseason watch list, including one of six from the Mountain West Conference.

Along with being named to the Doak Walker Award Watch List, Mays is also a preseason third-team selection by both Athlon Sports and Phil Steele heading into the 2016 season.

Mays, a 5-foot-11, 220-pounder from Livingston, Texas (Livingston HS/Blinn JC), played in all 13 games and made six starts in his first season at Utah State in 2015 and finished the year with 165 carries for 966 yards (5.9 ypr) with nine touchdowns to lead the team in each category. He ranked third in the Mountain West and 39th nationally with his 5.9 yards per carry, which ranked ninth all-time in school history for a single-season and tied for seventh all-time at USU for a career. He also ranked seventh in the conference with his nine rushing touchdowns and 10th in the league with his 74.3 rushing yards per game. Overall, he had three 100-yard rushing games during the year, highlighted by a season-best 176 yards on a season-high 22 carries against Wyoming (10/30).

The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name ten semifinalists on November 16, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the three finalists, who will be announced on November 22. The committee will cast a second vote beginning November 28 to determine the recipient. The National Selection Committee consists of past recipients, former NFL All-Pro and college All-America running backs, media members and selected special representatives.

The recipient of the 2016 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 8, on ESPN. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held in Dallas in early 2017.

The award, which will name its 27th recipient in 2016, 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.

Utah State returns 12 starters (O-9, D-3) and 38 letterwinners (O-20, D-15, S-3) from last year’s team that posted a 6-7 record, finished tied for second in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West with a 5-3 mark, and ended its season by playing in a school-record fifth-straight bowl game as it faced Akron in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Utah State will open the 2016 season on Thursday, Sept. 1, at home against Weber State and will begin Mountain West play on Saturday, Sept. 24, at home against Air Force.

For Aggie football ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online by clicking on the “Buy Tickets” tab at www.UtahStateAggies.com.

Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on Facebook at Utah State Football, as well as on Instagram at instagram.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.

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