BERLIN- Former Stephen Decatur and Snow Hill High School football running back Ben Tate is among the semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award, issued annually to the top college football running back in the country.
Tate, who began his high school football career at Decatur and later transferred to Snow Hill of his senior year, still holds the Maryland state high school career rushing record. For the last four years, Tate has been the workhorse running back at Auburn University, which has produced more than its share of great ball carriers over the years.
Thus far this year, Tate has rushed for over 100 yards in six of the 11 games for Auburn. His season totals to date include 1,209 yards on 225 carriers for an average of about 5.5 yards per carry along with eight touchdowns. His career totals to date include 3,168 yards on 640 carries.
Tate is among the 10 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award after the field of candidates was narrowed down from 70. The winner will be announced during a college football awards show on ESPN on December 10.
The prestigious Doak Walker Award was created to recognize the nation’s premiere running back for his accomplishments on the field, achievement in the classroom and citizenship in the community. It is the only major collegiate football award that requires all candidates to be in good academic standing and on schedule tog graduate within one year of other students in the same classification.
The award is named for former Southern Methodist University (SMU) and Detroit Lions football player Doak Walker and was first awarded in 1990. The very first recipient was Greg Lewis of Washington. Some more recent honorees now starring in the NFL include Reggie Bush, Cedric Benson Chris Perry and LaDanian Tomlinson, to name a few.