Clemson running back C.J. Spiller is one of 45 players named to the preseason candidate list for the 2009 Doak Walker Award announced on Tuesday. It marks the third straight year he has been on the preseason list. No Clemson player has won the award in the previous 19 years it has existed. James Davis was one of 10 semifinalists in 2006.Spiller was a first-team All-ACC kick returner and second-team All-ACC running back last year when he had 1065 yards from scrimmage. He led the ACC in all-purpose running with 1770 yards and needs just 921 all-purpose yards this year to become the ACC’s career leader. He is already the Clemson career record holder in that area with 4908.
Spiller holds 12 Clemson records, including most touchdowns of 50 yards or more (12) and most touchdowns of 80 yards or more (seven). He ranks ninth in Clemson history in career rushing yards with 2335. As a receiver he needs just 13 receptions to become the second running back in school history with at least 100 receptions.
Spiller was one of six players from the ACC on the list. He is joined by Joanthan Dwyer of Georgia Tech, Shaun Draughn of North Carolina, Jamelle Eugene of NC State, Darren Evans of Virginia Tech, and Da’Rel Scott of Maryland.
Spiller will be able to see his competition from close range during the year as five players on the list will play against Clemson. In addition to games against Georgia Tech (Dwyer), Maryland (Scott) and NC State (Eugene), Clemson will face Joseph Turner of TCU and Phillip Tanner of Middle Tennessee, two more players on the Doak Walker preseason candidates list. Three of those opponents face Clemson within the first four games of the season.
The recipient of the 2009 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on ESPN on The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards on Thursday, December 10. The Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet will be held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas, on Friday, February 19, 2010.
The award, in its 20th 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.