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Heel Tough Blog: Can Hampton Win the Doak Walker Award?

Grant Halverson- Getty Images

The Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee released their list of ten semifinalists for the award that will be given out in early December. For the second time in four years, the Tar Heels will have a player in the running for the award, this time in the form of sophomore Omarion Hampton.

Hampton currently sits tied atop the FBS leaderboard in rushing yards with 1,414 and second in scrimmage yards with 1,618. He also sits tied for fifth in rushing touchdowns with fifteen and tied for sixth in scrimmage touchdowns with sixteen.

Now, the question is can he actually win the award? His stats certainly stack up nicely with all of the other semifinalists and give him a really good shot at taking it home when it is all said and done.

  • Jonathon Brooks, Texas: 187 rush, 1139 yds, 10 TD, 25 rec, 286 yds, TD

  • Tahj Brooks, Texas Tech: 249 rush, 1348 yds, 9 TD, 20 rec, 70 yds

  • Marcus Carroll, Georgia State: 259 rush, 1293 yds, 13 TD, 22 rec, 231 yds

  • Blake Corum, Michigan: 180 rush, 888 yds, 20 TD, 11 rec, 72 yds

  • Ollie Gordon II, Oklahoma State: 211 rush, 1414 yds, 15 TD, 29 rec, 262 yds, TD

  • Omarion Hampton, UNC: 225 rush, 1414 yds, 15 TD, 24 rec, 204 yds, TD

  • R.J. Harvey, UCF: 190 rush, 1160 yds, 14 TD, 17 rec, 231 yds, TD

  • Damien Martinez, Oregon State: 181 rush, 1147 yds, 9 TD, 11 rec, 126 yds

  • Cody Schrader, Missouri: 220 rush, 1272 yds, 12 TD, 22 rec, 191 yds

  • Kimani Vidal, Troy: 238 rush, 1280 yds, 8 TD, 17 rec, 198 yds, TD

Gordon II, who many currently view as the favorite for the award, has almost identical numbers to him and seems like he will be the biggest threat to take home the award besides Hampton. Corum is another name to keep an eye on because of his touchdown numbers and the fact that he could possibly play two more games than Hampton when it is all said and done. Outside of that, it is tough to see anyone else being a threat here with Brooks done for the season after tearing his right ACL a couple of weeks ago.

Hampton’s case will face a tough test this week against an NC State defense that is allowing just 102.5 yards per game, but will have the benefit of being able to carry the ball a ton of the load for the team in the bowl game if Drake Maye decides to sit out the bowl game. The bottom line is, Hampton has a realistic shot to be the program’s first Doak Walker Award winner.

1 Comment

Brandon Griffin
Brandon Griffin
Nov 21, 2023

There are 2 keys here, the first being oklahoma st needs to not make the Big 12 championship game...thats one more game to allow him to outpace Hampton, which leads into the second key, he has to be the top RB in yards and so he needs a big game against State and like in anything we need to win because rewards look better on 9 win teams than on 8 win ones (oh yeah and he needs not fumble it inside the 5 like he did twice last week)

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