The winner of the 2011 Doak Walker award is Alabama running back Trent Richardson.
Trent Richardson had led the Alabama Crimson Tide to the National Title game. His 1,583 rushing yards were the sixth most in the country. He rushed for 20 touchdowns, which was the fifth best total. He was also the fourth highest scorer in the nation, finding the endzone a total of 23 times.
Richardson beat out some stiff competition.
LaMichael James has powered the Oregon Ducks all season. On 222 carries, he ran for 1,646 yards and 17 touchdowns. His 7.4 YPG average is a good yard higher than Montee Ball's. On the flip side, he ran for almost half as many touchdowns.
In 13 games this season, Montee Ball has carried the ball 275 times for 1,759 yards, which is the best in the Big Ten and the entire FBS. Not only that, but Ball's 32 rushing touchdowns are the most by a skill player in major college football by six scores. His 6.4 yards per carry is second in the nation among RBs with 200+ carries.
James took home the award last year, as part of a high-octane Oregon Ducks offense. Of the last 15 winners of the award, only three have gone on to win the Heisman Trophy as the best player in the nation: Reggie Bush in 2005, Ron Dayne in 1999 and in 1998.
The award itself is named after former SMU running back, defensive back and place kicker Ewell Doak Walker. He would win the Heisman in 1948 while leading the Mustangs to an 8-1-1 record, eventually going on to a Hall of Fame career with the Detroit Lions.
SB Nation's 2011 college football awards stream will have the winners of each college football award, because it's a college football awards stream.