EL PASO, Texas – UTEP running back Deion Hankins was named as a 2023 Doak Walker Award candidate as announced by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum on Wednesday. The Forum annually presents the award to the nation’s top collegiate running back.

Hankins earned second team All-Conference USA honors after rushing for a career-high 701 yards on 140 carriers (5.0 avg.) with two rushing scores in 2022. In CUSA games only, he rushed for a team high and ranked fourth in the league with 563 yards on 102 attempts (5.5 avg.). He added 42 yards on four receptions, including a career-long reception of 16 yards.

The redshirt junior gained a career-high 138 yards on 17 carries (8.1 avg.) in a win over Florida Atlantic that included a career-long 72-yard rush against the Owls. Hankins rambled for 112 yards on 20 attempts (5.6 avg.) in a win at Charlotte (UTEP’s first ever win in the Eastern Time Zone). Hankins grinded out 86 yards on 21 carries to lead UTEP in an upset victory over Boise State on national television.

During a blowout win over FIU, Hankins chipped in with 81 of the team’s 355 rushing yards. Hankins registered 80 yards of total offense with a rushing score at LA Tech, and scored a touchdown at New Mexico.

The El Paso product from Parkland High School has rushed for 1,792 yards on 391 attempts (4.6 avg.) and 18 touchdowns. Hankins has five 100-yard rushing performances in his career. He needs 374 yards rushing and is one rushing TD away from cracking the top-10 list in each respective category.

The award 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.