Barner named Doak Walker Award finalist

DALLAS -- University of Oregon running back Kenjon Barner is one of three inalists for the 2012 Doak Walker Award, the PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors announced Monday.

Barner, a senior from Riverside, California, has amassed 1,426 yards and is averaging 6.5 yards per carry in 2012. He ranks sixth nationally in both total rushing yards and rushing yards per game. Barner established the Oregon single game rushing record with a 321 yard and five touchdown performance vs. USC this year.

Joining Oregon's starting tailback as finalists for the national running back honor are Wisconsin senior Montee Ball, the 2011 Doak Walker Award recipient, and UCLA senior Jonathan Franklin.

Barner's selection marks the third straight season the Ducks have had a finalist for the honor. His former teammate LaMichael James, now with the San Francisco 49ers, won the award in 2010 and was among the final three last season.

This year's recipient will be revealed on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards airing live from the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney's BoardWalk at the Walt Disney World Resort on Thursday, December 6, at 4:30 p.m. (PT).

The three Doak Walker Award finalists will be highlighted on ESPNU during The Home Depot College Football Awards Nomination Special airing Tuesday, November 20, at 6 p.m. (ET). The 30-minute program, hosted by Matt Schick, will include player interviews and analysis from Kevin Carter on the finalists for the Doak Walker Award and other members of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA).

The award is named after three-time SMU All-America running back and 1948 Heisman Trophy winner Doak Walker. The versatile Walker, who also punted, returned kicks and kicked extra points, led the Mustangs to two Southwest Conference Championships and brought the school into the national spotlight.