Mississippi State junior running back LaDarius Perkins was added to the Doak Walker Award Watch List, the selection committee announced Tuesday. The award, created in 1989, recognizes the nation’s premier running back for his accomplishments on the field, achievement in the classroom and citizenship in the community.
Looking to become MSU’s first winner of the award, Perkins is one of only six running backs in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) to have rushed for a touchdown in each of his first four games this season. The junior currently ranks third in the Southeastern Conference in rushing
(389 yards) and all-purpose yards (487), as well as tied for sixth in scoring touchdowns (7.5 per game). Additionally, the Greenville, Miss., native’s career-high 179 rushing yards in the week three victory at Troy ranks as the SEC’s single-game rushing high this season.
Off the field, Perkins spends much of his free time volunteering in the community. Since class started this past August, the running back has hosted several study sessions for his teammates. This past July, Perkins led a group of Bulldogs to the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children in Jackson, Miss., where he spent time visiting with terminally ill children. Each semester, Perkins visits local elementary schools as part of the Bully Book Blitz, encouraging literacy among children. Finally, this past December, Perkins directed a group of teammates to the Starkville Wal-Mart and Kroger, where the team signed autographs and served as bell ringers for the Salvation Army.
Semifinalists will be named Nov. 9, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast votes to determine the finalists, who will be announced on Nov. 19. The committee will cast a second vote beginning on Nov. 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 Dec. 6. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held in Dallas, Texas, in Feb. 2013.
The award, in its 23rd 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.