Auburn Running Backs Contend for Award

AUBURN * Auburn senior running backs Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams have been named as candidates for the 2004 Doak Walker Award, it was announced Tuesday.

The honor, given to the nation's top collegiate running back, is in its 15th year and will be awarded by the SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors. Semifinalists will be named on November 15 and the winner will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on December 9, televised on ESPN.

Brown and Williams were also named as candidates prior to the 2003 season. Former Michigan running back Chris Perry won the award last season.

Brown returns to the Tigers in 2004 after rushing for 446 yards on 95 carries last season. He scored five touchdowns, pushing his career total to 20, which ranks eighth on Auburn's all-time rushing touchdowns list. For his career, he has gained 1,794 yards, an average of five per carry.

It is the second such fall nomination for Brown, who was named to the Maxwell Award Watch List earlier. That award is given's to the nation's Player of the Year.

The Walker Award list is the seventh such honor for Williams, who returns for his senior season as the sixth-leading rusher in Auburn's history with 2,666 yards. He ranks third all-time with 33 touchdowns, just 10 shy of tying Bo Jackson's program record.

Williams averaged 5.4 yards per rush in 2003 en route to 1,307 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Williams was also named to the Maxwell Award Watch List and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Watch List, which is given to the nation's Player of the Year. The Attalla, Ala., native is also an All-Southeastern Conference First Team member, All-America Team nominee and has been honored with a Playboy Preseason All-American mention as well as a spot as a Lindy's Preseason All-American.

Auburn is one of three teams to have two players nominated for the award. Maryland (Josh Allen and Sammy Maldonado) and Southern California (Reggie Bush and LenDale White) also have dual candidates.