DALLAS – Texas Tech senior running back Tahj Brooks was named a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award on Tuesday by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum. He is one of 10 semifinalists named for the annual award that honors the nation’s top college running back in the FBS.
Brooks is the first Red Raider running back to be recognized past the preseason watch list stage of the award process since Doak Walker Award winners Byron Morris (1993) and Byron Hanspard (1996). At the time, Texas Tech was the only school in the nation to possess two winners of the award.
Brooks is set to enter the final game of the regular season this Friday ranked third in the FBS with 1,348 rushing yards and third in the FBS in rushing yards per game (122.5). Brooks has rushed for 100 yards in eight of the past nine games this season, including seven times during Big 12 play. The sole contest over the last nine games that he did not surpass the 100-yard mark was a 98-yard performance versus Kansas State.
Last time out, he’s proving to only be getting stronger as he set a single-game career-high with 182 rushing yards against UCF, as well as a touchdown for what was the seventh-straight game finding the end zone.
En route to his yardage total is an astounding 86 missed tackles forced, according to PFF, which easily leads the FBS and is 23 more than any other power-five rusher. The website ranks him second in the FBS with 855 yards after contact.
Brooks, and previous Texas Tech Doak Walker Award winners Morris and Hanspard, are each members of the Red Raiders’ all-time single-season rushing leaders Top 10. Hanspard is the program’s all-time leader with 2,084 yards in 1996 while Morris sits second with 1,752. Brooks ranks No. 9 with 1,348 yards and two games left ahead of him after Texas Tech clinched its third-straight bowl appearance.
Headed by four players from the Big 12 Conference and two Sun Belt Conference selections, the list of honored players includes one repeat semifinalist, Michigan’s Blake Corum. In all, the 10 semifinalists represent six Division I FBS conferences.
Three finalists for the 2023 Doak Walker Award will be announced a week on Nov. 28 and the winner will be unveiled live on ESPN during The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 8. The formal presentation of the award will take place here on the SMU campus at the annual banquet scheduled for Feb. 16, 2024. The National Selection Committee consists of past recipients, former NFL All-Pro and college All-America running backs, media members and selected special representatives.
About the Doak Walker Award
The award 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.
Release provided Matt Burkholder Texas Tech Athletics