Nov. 9, 2012
Senior Johnathan Franklin has been selected as one of 10 semifinalists for the 2012 Doak Walker Award which recognizes the nation's best running back. Senior Jeff Locke was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Ray Guy Award which is awarded annually to the nation's top punter.
Franklin, who became UCLA's all-time leading rusher last week against Arizona with 3,873 yards, rates as the nation's fourth-best rusher in the latest NCAA rankings (133.78 yards per game). He also ranks tied for 12th in the nation in all-purpose yardage (160.0) and has caught a career-best 20 passes this season.
Locke leads the Pac-12 Conference in punts landed inside the 20-yard line this season with 24, 17 of which have been downed at or inside the 10-yard line. He ranks 21st in the nation with a punting average of 42.94 yards per kick. Twenty-four of his 49 punts this season have resulted in fair catches and only eight kicks have been returned for a 6.4-yard average.
The Doak Walker Award was created in 1989 to recognize the nation's premier running back for his accomplishments on the field, achievement in the classroom and citizenship in the community. It is named after three-time SMU All-America running back and 1948 Heisman Trophy winner Doak Walker who is now a member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.
The Ray Guy Award winner is selected by a national voting body of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) coaches, sports information directors, national media and former Ray Guy Award winners. Punters are evaluated on their overall statistics and contribution to the team. Particular emphasis is placed on the following statistics: net average, percentage of total punts inside the 20-yard line and percentage of punts not returned. The award is named after punter Ray Guy, a former All-American at Southern Mississippi and an all-pro player for the Oakland Raiders.
Members of the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will cast their votes to determine the 2012 finalists. On Monday, November 19, three finalists will be named. The 2012 recipient will be announced live on the The Home Depot College Football Award on Thursday, December 6, on ESPN. The formal presentation banquet will take place on Feb. 15, 2013 in Dallas, TX.
Finalists for the Ray Guy Award will be announced on November 19 and the award will be presented on December 6 at The Home Depot College Football Awards show in Orlando, FL. The formal presentation banquet will take place in January of 2013 in Augusta, GA.
The Doak Walker semifinalists (in alphabetical order) are: Montee Ball (Sr.) Wisconsin; Kenjon Barner (Sr.) Oregon; Le'Veon Bell (Jr.) Michigan State; Giovani Bernard (So.) North Carolina; David Fluellen (Jr.) Toledo; Johnathan Franklin (Sr.) UCLA; Stefphon Jefferson (Jr.) Nevada; Venric Mark (Jr.) Northwestern; Joseph Randle (Jr.) Oklahoma State; Stepfan Taylor (Sr.) Stanford.
The Ray Guy semifinalists (in alphabetical order) are: Ryan Allen (Sr.) - Louisiana Tech; Kyle Christy (So.) - Florida; Steven Clark (Jr.) - Auburn; Josh Hubner (Sr.) - Arizona State; Scott Kovanda (Sr.) - Ball State; Jeff Locke (Sr.) - UCLA; Riley Stephenson (Sr.) - BYU; Kirby Van Der Kamp (Jr.) - Iowa State; Tyler Williams (Fr.) - Marshall; Brad Wing (So.) - LSU.