MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin junior running back John Clay has been named one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, the PricewaterhouseCoopers SMU Athletic Forum announced on Monday. The award is given annually to the nation’s top running back.
Clay, a junior from Racine, Wis., has rushed for 929 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. Although Clay has missed two full games due to injury, he has rushed for over 100 yards six times this season and helped lead the Badgers to a 10-1 record and a shot at the Big Ten conference title.
The 2009 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Clay is averaging 103.2 yards per game and needs just 71 more yards to become the sixth running back in school history to record consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.
A midseason second-team All-American selection by SI.com and Phil Steele, Clay has run for over 100 yards in 12 of his last 14 games and scored a touchdown in 13 of his last 15 contests.
He became the first player in 29 games to rush for over 100 yards against Ohio State when he ran for 104 yards against the Buckeyes. Clay combined for four rushing touchdowns against both Ohio State and Iowa in back-to-back games. Those two teams have combined to give up just 16 rushing scores all year.
In his career, Clay has rushed for 3,330 yards, a mark that sits eighth all-time at Wisconsin. In addition, his 5.42 yards per carry ranks third at Wisconsin, his 40 rushing touchdowns are fifth and his 614 carries are tied for seventh.
Ron Dayne is the only Badger to win the Doak Walker Award, doing so in 1999. He is also the only Badger to be a finalist, accomplishing that feat in 1998.
The three finalists, which also include Kendall Hunter of Oklahoma State and LaMichael James of Oregon, were determined by a vote of the 175-member Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee. The Committee will cast a second vote to determine the recipient of the 2010 Doak Walker Award.
The recipient will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards at 7:00 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, Dec. 9 on ESPN. The award will be presented at the 2010 Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet in Dallas on Friday, Feb. 18, 2011.