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San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey named semifinalist for Doak Walker Award

The Doak Walker Award recognizes the nation's premier running back for field accomplishments, classroom achievement and community citizenship. The winner will be announced Dec. 8 on ESPN.

San Diego State University’s Donnel Pumphrey is among 10 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award, which honors the nation’s top running back.

Pumphrey leads the nation in rushing this season with 1,779 yards. The Aztecs, who play at Wyoming this weekend, have four more games remaining this season, when taking into account the Mountain West Championship Game and a yet-to-be named postseason bowl game. He also ranks fourth in NCAA history in career yards with 6,051. Pumphrey is just 347 yards away from breaking the all-time NCAA rushing record held by Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne (6,397). That might just clinch it.

Other semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award are: Penn State’s Saquon Barkley, Florida State’s Dalvin Cook, Texas’ D’Onta Foreman, LSU’s Leonard Fournette, Wyoming’s Brian Hill, Texas-El Paso’s Aaron Jones, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, Boise State’s Jeremy McNichols and Auburn’s Kamryn Pettway.

Pumphrey leads Foreman by 166 yards in the national rushing race. Mountain West rivals Hill (1,417 yards) and McNichols (1,369) also are among the nation’s top five rushers.

California v San Diego State Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

According to the Doak Walker Award website, the award recognizes “the nation's premier running back for his accomplishments on the field, achievement in the classroom and citizenship in the community.”

“It is the only major collegiate football 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 three finalists for the award will be announced on Monday. The winner will be announced Dec. 8 on ESPN.

The Doak Walker Award selection committee includes 112 media members from five regions around the country as well as 57 special members, many of them past college running back greats.