The PwC SMU Athletic Forum has selected Heisman Trophy-winning running back Herschel Walker as the recipient of the 2016 PwC Doak Walker Legends Award. The award was created in 1998 to honor former running backs that excelled at the collegiate level and went on to distinguish themselves as leaders in their communities.
Walker will accept his trophy at the Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet on Saturday, February 18, 2017 in Dallas. He joins an impressive list of past recipients: Barry Sanders (2015), Bo Jackson (2014), Floyd Little (2013), Jim Brown (2012), Tommy McDonald (2011), Jim Taylor (2010), Eric Dickerson and Craig James (2009), Calvin Hill (2008), Marcus Allen (2007), Walter Payton (2006), Jim Swink (2005), John David Crow (2004), Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis (2003), Earl Campbell (2002), Tony Dorsett (2001), Pete Dawkins (2000), Archie Griffin (1999), and Gale Sayers (1998).
Widely considered one of the greatest college football players of all time, Walker was named an All-American during all three of his seasons at Georgia. As a freshman in 1980, Walker led the Bulldogs to the national championship with 1,616 yards and 15 touchdowns. He finished third in Heisman voting and was the first true freshman named a unanimous All-American. Walker’s 1981 season saw him rush for 1,891 yards and 18 scores on his way to Heisman runner-up. In 1982, Walker rushed for 1,752 yards and 16 touchdowns despite nursing a broken thumb to start the season. He led the Bulldogs to their third-straight SEC championship and received the Heisman Trophy.
Walker spent the first three years of his professional career with the New Jersey Generals of the USFL, winning two rushing titles. The Dallas Cowboys then drafted Walker in the fifth round of the 1985 NFL Draft. Walker’s banner season in the NFL was a second-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection in 1987 and 1988, rushing for 1,514 yards in 1988. A dual threat throughout his pro career, Walker rushed for 61 touchdowns and caught 21 touchdown receptions during his 13 seasons with four teams.
Walker is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, was an All-American track and field athlete at Georgia and also competed in the two-man bobsled at the 1992 Winter Olympics.
“Herschel Walker’s college football career is as impressive as any in the history of the sport and his accomplishments are a testament to his hard work and perseverance,” said Scott Moore, PwC North Texas Managing Partner. “We’re proud to welcome Herschel to the distinguished list of PwC Doak Walker Legends Awards recipients.”
Doak Walker epitomized leadership, sportsmanship, and academic and athletic achievement during his outstanding career at SMU. Walker was a three-time All-America choice who won the Heisman Trophy as a junior in 1948, was a first round draft pick of the Detroit Lions, led the team to NFL championships in 1952 and 1953, and was chosen All-Pro four times. Walker is a member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.