North Texas running back Patrick Cobbs is listed among this year's elite college running backs as a candidate for the 2004 Doak Walker award, presented by the SMU Athletic Forum annually to the nation's top college running back. Along with Cobbs, this season's Doak Walker watch list is made up of 42 players including Texas senior Cedric Benson and Kansas State senior Darren Sproles. Sproles was a finalist for the the award in 2003 and led the nation in total rushing yards (1,915) last season.
In 2003 Cobbs led the nation in average rushing yards (152.7) and scoring points (11.5) per game. He was ranked in the top six in the nation in rushing touchdowns (19) and all-purpose yards (1,771). This season Cobbs returns as a preseason All-America candidate, preseason Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year and Texas College Player of the Year in Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine. Cobbs is the only Sun Belt Conference player to be nominated for the 2004 award.
The candidates' preformance on the field will be a factor when deciding this year's recipient of the Doak Walker Award, as well as his performance off the field. The award, which is celebrating its 15th year, is named for SMU's three-time All-American 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.
Cobbs is on schedule to graduate from North Texas in May 2005 with a bachelor's degree in applied arts and sciences. He is recognized on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll which requires athletes to maintain a minimum 3.0 gpa.
The semifinalists will be selected on November 15 by the SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directers, and the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committe will vote on the winner in late November. The National Selection Committee consists of former NFL All-Pro and college All-America running backs, media members and selected special representatives. The recipient of the award will be announced live on ESPN on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 9.