DALLAS, Texas — Maryland sophomore running back Anthony McFarland Jr. was selected as a preseason candidate for the 2019 Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top running back, the National College Football Awards Association announced Wednesday.
McFarland, who was named to the Maxwell Award Watch List earlier in the week, had an incredible freshman season in 2018, rushing for a Maryland freshman record 1,034 yards while averaging 7.9 yards per carry. He was selected as a Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-American and named Second Team All-Big Ten.
A Hyattsville native, McFarland also set Maryland freshman records for most rushing yards in a game (298 vs. Ohio State) and most 100-yard rushing games (4). His 1,034 rushing yards ranks as the ninth most in a season in program history and his yards per carry mark ranked fifth in the nation.
With the 298 yard game vs. Ohio State and a 210 yard game the week before at Indiana, McFarland became only the second Maryland player ever to record back to back 200-yard games. His 175 yards in the first quarter against the Buckeyes was the most by any running back in a single quarter all season.
This is the third season in a row Maryland has had a preseason candidate for the Doak Walker Award, with Ty Johnson making the previous two seasons.
The PwC SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will name ten semifinalists in November, and three finalists, as voted on by the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee, will be announced on November 20. The committee will cast a second vote beginning December 2 to determine the recipient. The National Selection Committee consists of past recipients, former NFL All-Pro and college All-America running backs, media members and selected special representatives.
The recipient of the 2019 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 12 on ESPN.
The award, which will name its 30th recipient in 2019, 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.