LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Montee Ball will finish his college career on top of a number of lists in the record books. He’ll also finish it on top of the list of the nation’s top running backs.
The Wisconsin senior was named the best running back in college football Thursday when he was presented with the Doak Walker Award during The Home Depot College Football Awards at Walt Disney World. He also was named to the Walter Camp All-America team for the second-consecutive season.
Ball finished ahead of fellow Doak Walker finalists Kenjon Barner of Oregon and Johnathan Franklin of UCLA for the honor, which has been presented to the nation’s most outstanding running back each year since 1989.
A finalist for the second-consecutive season, Ball becomes Wisconsin’s second Doak Walker Award winner, joining 1999 winner Ron Dayne.
He is the sixth Big Ten player to earn the award, and the first since Iowa’s Shonn Greene in 2008.
Wisconsin has boasted a Doak Walker finalist each of the last three seasons, with John Clay earning a finalist nod in 2010 before Ball’s back-to-back nominations. UW has had eight Doak Walker semifinalists over the past 15 seasons.
Ball is the NCAA’s all-time leader in touchdowns with 82 and also holds the NCAA career record for rushing touchdowns with 76. He ranks in a tie for fourth all-time among Big Ten players with 5,040 career rushing yards and became the 17th player in FBS history to surpass 5,000 yards.
Ball has rushed for 200-plus yards four times in his career and has 25 100-yard rushing games to his credit, including nine this season. He ranks third nationally this season with 1,730 rushing yards and ranks in a tie for fourth with 21 rushing touchdowns.
The two-time defending Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year award winner, Ball led the Big Ten in rushing and scoring during conference play to become the first player to lead the league in scoring in three consecutive seasons since at least 1939.
Named the Grange-Griffin Big Ten Championship Game MVP for his three-touchdown performance in UW’s 70-31 win over Nebraska in the 2012 Big Ten Football Championship Game, Ball is a finalist for the Chicago Tribune’s Silver Football award for the second-consecutive year. He won the award presented annually to the Big Ten’s MVP last season.
Ball will be honored at the 2012 Doak Walker Award Banquet on Feb. 15 in Dallas.
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