Utah State senior running back Kerwynn Williams is one of 52 candidates for the 2012 Doak Walker Award it was announced by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum Thursday. The Doak Walker Award is presented annually to the nation's top college running back.

Williams is one of just two Western Athletic Conference players nominated for the Doak Walker Award along with Louisiana Tech's Hunter Lee. He is also one of three players among the 52 candidates from the state of Utah joining Michael Alisa of BYU and John White of Utah.

It is the second time this year Williams has received preseason national recognition. He was also one of 30 punt returns placed on the 2012 College Football Performance Award Watch List for special teams.

A native of Las Vegas, Nev. (Valley HS), Williams rushed for 542 yards on 81 carries (6.7 ypc) in 2011, which ranked third on USU’s single-season rushing average list, to go along with three rushing touchdowns including a 43-yard score against Auburn.

For his career, Williams has rushed for 1,003 yards on 164 carries (6.1 ypc) and has scored seven rushing touchdowns in 36 games.

In 2011, Williams added seven receptions for 63 yards, 36 kick returns for 817 yards (22.7 ypr), which ranked fifth in the WAC and 73rd in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), and seven punt returns for 98 yards (14.0 ypr). Overall, he totaled 1,520 all-purpose yards on the season, for an average of 121.5 yards per game, ranking eighth in the WAC and 58th in FBS.

The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name the semifinalists on November 9, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the finalists, who will be announced on November 19. The committee will cast a second vote beginning on November 26 to determine the recipient. The National Selection Committee consists of former NFL All-Pro and college All-America running backs, media members and selected special representatives.

The recipient of the 2012 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 6, on ESPN. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held in Dallas, Texas, in February 2013.

The award, in its 23nd year, 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 football season ticket renewals and new sales for the 2012 season are available. Renewals are available online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the "buy/renew tickets" under the "tickets" drop down menu. Fans interested in new sales should contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.

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Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.