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November 16, 2006MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin's P.J. Hill has been selected as one of 10 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award, presented annually to the nation's top running back, the Guaranty Bank SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors announced Thursday.
Hill, the only freshman among this year's semifinalists, leads the Big Ten in rushing (131.5 ypg), all-purpose yards (149.1 ypg) and scoring (8.2 ppg). He ranks fifth nationally in rushing and seventh in the nation in all-purpose yards. Hill is just the fifth freshman in NCAA history to rush for 1,000 yards in as few as seven games. In addition, he needs only 30 yards to move into the No. 7 spot on the all-time NCAA freshman rushing list behind only Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson, Wisconsin's Ron Dayne, North Texas's Jamario Thomas, Nevada's Chance Kretschmer, Georgia's Herschel Walker and Pittsburgh's Tony Dorsett.
This marks the fifth time in the past nine seasons that a Wisconsin running back has been named a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award. Dayne was a finalist in 1998 before winning it in 1999. Anthony Davis (2001) and Brian Calhoun (2005) were both semifinalists, as well.
This season's semifinalists include:
James Davis (So.), Clemson
Mike Hart (Jr.), Michigan
P.J. Hill Jr. (Fr.), Wisconsin
Ian Johnson (So.), Boise State
Marshawn Lynch (Jr.), California
Darren McFadden (So.), Arkansas
Adrian Peterson (Jr.), Oklahoma
Ray Rice (So.), Rutgers
Steve Slaton (So.), West Virginia
Garrett Wolfe (Sr.), Northern Illinois
The 166 members of the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast their votes over the next week to determine the 2006 finalists. On Tuesday, Nov. 21, three finalists will be named, and a second vote will determine the recipient. The recipient of the 2006 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on ESPN's The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 7.
The award will be presented at the 2006 Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet in Dallas on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2007. The late Walter Payton, former Jackson State and Chicago Bear great, was named the recipient of the 2006 PricewaterhouseCoopers Doak Walker Legends Award and will also be honored at the banquet.