DALLAS East Carolina junior running back Rahjai Harris is one of 75 players named to the 2023 Doak Walker Award Watch List according to an announcement by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum Wednesday. The Forum annually presents the award to the nation’s top running back.
Harris, who appeared in five games with one start a year ago, rushed for 238 yards on 67 carries (3.6 ypr) with five scores before suffering a season-ending injury against South Florida. Out of the backfield, he caught nine passes for 71 yards with a touchdown pushing his season total to six, which stood third on the team. Against Navy he ran for a season-high 75 yards with a long of 41 in the first quarter while tallying 61 yards on the ground against Campbell.
During his three-year career, the Duncan, S.C. native has rushed for 1,445 yards on 360 carries (4.0 ypr) in 25 games scoring 13 touchdowns while catching 39 passes for 264 yards and three additional scores. In all, he has tallied 1,709 all-purpose yards and registered four 100-plus rushing games which includes a personal-best 172 against Navy in 2020.
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 in November. The committee will cast a second vote in December 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 2023 Doak Walker Award will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards. 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.