Stanford running back Toby Gerhart will receive the 2009 Doak Walker Award Feb. 19, 2010. He will join fellow honorees Eric Dickerson and Craig James, SMU’s “Pony Express,” who will receive the 2009 PricewaterhouseCoopers Doak Walker Legends Award.
The award presentation celebration begins at 6 p.m. at Dallas’ Hilton Anatole Hotel. Lee Corso, Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit of “ESPN College GameDay” will co-host.
Gerhart, a senior from Norco, California, ranks first nationally in total rushing with 1,736 yards and 160 points scored. He racked up 26 touchdowns and ten 100-yard games during the 2009 season, and has rushed for 100 or more yards 19 times in his career.
“Doak Walker taught us all, more than half a century ago, that great players perform their best in games of consequence. Toby Gerhart demonstrated the truth of that maxim during Stanford’s marvelous 2009 season. When the Cardinal needed him most, he was there. He is a most deserving winner of the 2009 Doak Walker Award,” said legendary CBS sportscaster Verne Lundquist, a member of the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee.
Dickerson was a two-time All-America choice for SMU, finished third in the 1982 Heisman voting and is the University’s career and single-season rushing record holder. During his 11-year NFL career, he was voted All-Pro six times and established the current NFL rushing record when he ran for 2,105 yards in 1984. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
James was a three-time All-Southwest Conference selection at SMU and ranks third on the Mustangs’ all-time rushing list. He was also the first player in the SWC since 1951 to be voted All-Conference at two positions: running back and punter. During his professional career with the New England Patriots, he was the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year in 1985 and voted to the Pro Bowl in 1986.
“Eric Dickerson and Craig James made extraordinary contributions to their team while at SMU, and it is only appropriate that they receive this award created to honor the legacy of SMU legend Doak Walker,” said Thomas W. Codd, North Texas managing partner for PricewaterhouseCoopers. “We are proud to honor these tremendous athletes who composed one of the greatest backfields in college football history.”
The Doak Walker Award recipient is chosen annually by a 130-member National Selection
Committee comprised of members of the media and former players. 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 SWC Championships. During his six years with the Detroit 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.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers Doak Walker Legends Award was created by the SMU Athletic Forum in 1998 to honor former running backs who excelled at the collegiate level and also distinguished themselves as leaders in their communities.