STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – Senior Aeris Williams secured preseason honors as the Mississippi State running back was selected to the 2018 Doak Walker Award Watch List, the PwC SMU Athletic Forum announced.
The Doak Walker Award is given to annually to the nation's top college running back and 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. Williams is making a return to the Doak Walker Award Watch List after earning consideration as a preseason candidate in 2017.
Williams broke out as one of the elite running backs in the Southeastern Conference in 2017, becoming MSU’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Josh Robinson in 2014. The West Point, Miss., native racked up 1,107 total yards on the ground to rank sixth in the SEC while scoring six rushing touchdowns. Williams turned in four 100-yard rushing games in 2017.
Last season, Williams turned in a standout performance against top-ranked Alabama, rushing for 97 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns. Williams became the first running back with two rushing touchdowns against Alabama since Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliot on Jan, 1, 2015.
The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name 10 semifinalists in November, and three finalists, as voted on by the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee, will be announced on Nov. 20. The committee will cast a second vote beginning Nov. 26 to determine the recipient.
The recipient of the 2018 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 6 on ESPN.