FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas fullback Kiero Small and running back Jonathan Williams were included on the Doak Walker Award Watch List released Thursday.
Small has appeared in 14 games as a Razorback, playing in all 13 games in 2011 before suffering a season-ending injury after the first game of 2012. The senior from Baltimore, Md., has rushed one time for a one-yard touchdown, caught one seven-yard pass and returned two kickoffs for a total of 17 yards. As a lead blocker in last year’s season-opening 49-24 win against Jacksonville State, he cleared the way for the Razorbacks to rush for 164 yards and gain 564 yards of total offense. In 2011, the Arkansas rushing offense ranked third in the SEC in yards-per-carry average and tied for the third-most rushing touchdowns in conference play. Individually, Dennis Johnson ranked fourth in the conference in yards-per-carry average and seventh in rushing yards per game.
Williams appeared in 11 games with two starts as a true freshman in 2012, rushing 45 times for 231 yards and making eight receptions for 208 yards and two touchdowns. The Allen, Texas, native’s first collegiate catch was a 74-yard touchdown on Arkansas’ first offensive play of its 49-7 win vs. Kentucky. Williams aped a 77-yard touchdown catch on the final play of the first quarter and finished the game with three catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns. He was the only player from the SEC and one of two freshmen in the NCAA with two 70-plus-yard touchdown receptions in the same game in 2012. He recorded a season-high 61 yards rushing and tied his season high with three catches at No. 12 South Carolina.
The Doak Walker Award is presented annually to the nation’s top college running back. The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name semifinalists on Nov. 14, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will vote to determine the finalists, which will be released Nov. 25. The committee, which also votes for the winner, consists of former NFL All-Pro and college All-American running backs, media members and selected special representatives. The winner of the Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 12.
The Doak Walker Award, in its 24th year, is named for three-time All-American 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.
The Razorbacks report for preseason camp Aug. 4 and open the 2013 season Aug. 31 by hosting Louisiana inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville at 3 p.m. on FSN.
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