Ricky Williams, left, and Earl Campbell greet each other before UT's game against New Mexico at Royal-Memorial Stadium on Sept. 8, 2012. (Jay Janner/American-Statesman)

BEVO BEAT Football

Why Earl Campbell never won the Doak Walker Award

Posted December 10th, 2016

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On Thursday, D’Onta Foreman became the third Texas running back to win the Doak Walker Award, given each year to the best running back in college football.

He joined Ricky Williams, who won the award twice in 1997 and 1998, and Cedric Benson who won it in 2004.

RELATED COVERAGE: D’Onta Foreman captures Doak Walker Award

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If it feels like there is at least one name missing, don’t worry. There’s a reason Earl Campbell — widely considered one of the greatest Longhorns ever — never won.

The award didn’t exist when he played.

The Doak Walker Award was established in 1989 and first awarded in 1990 to Washington’s Greg Lewis. So while Campbell would have been more than deserving during his Heisman Trophy-winning season of 1977, there was no award for running backs at that time.

RELATED: Throwback Thursday: Earl Campbell won Heisman Trophy 39 years ago

Like Williams in 1997 and Benson in 2004, Foreman was not invited to New York City as one of the Heisman finalists. Times and offenses have changed, and this year no running backs were invited to New York.

At least the Doak Walker Award gave Foreman and the other finalists — Dalvin Cook from Florida State and Donnel Pumphrey from San Diego State — a chance to be recognized for outstanding seasons.

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