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March 12, 2007
Some of football's greatest running backs were easily identifiable by first name alone.
There has been Gale and Herschel and Bo and LaDainian, among others.
But before all of them there was Doak Walker, the 1948 Heisman Trophy winner, whose unusual name is on the award presented annually to college football's premier running back.
Therefore, it may seem a bit ironic that the Rivals.com list of leading contenders for the 2007 Doak Walker Award have rather common names, although uncommon ability.
Darren, Steve and Mike are names that can be found with relative ease on monogrammed merchandise. They may also be on the list of Walker Award winners next February.
Darren McFadden, Steve Slaton and Mike Hart rushed for more than 1,500 yards last season. Mike Goodson averaged more yards per carry than all of them except Slaton, and his attempts should increase dramatically in '07.
With another strong season any one of them could be the next recipient of the Walker award. But that's not to imply Boise State's Ian Johnson, Oregon State's Yvenson Bernard or Georgia Tech's Tashard Choice can't win it, too.