Ray Davis Named Doak Walker National Running Back of the Week
University of Kentucky running back Ray Davis ran all over the No. 22/23 Florida Gators in Kentucky’s 33-14 win last weekend and now is doing the same on the weekly performance-based awards. His record-setting day has earned him the Doak Walker National Running Back of the Week, it was announced Tuesday.
The Doak Walker Award presented by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum has been awarded to the nation’s top running back since 1990. Since 2022, the award has recognized a national running back of the week. A select 20-person committee from the award’s full voting body of media and past winners chooses the weekly recipient. On Aug. 9, a preseason candidates list was released and semifinalists for the award will be named on Nov. 21. A week later, the three finalists will be announced.
Davis previously was named the Southeastern Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Week, the Maxwell Player of the Week, the East/West Shrine Bowl Breakout Offensive Player of the Week, the Reese’s Senior Bowl National Player of the Week and gained honorable mention acknowledgement from the College Football Performance Awards for national player of the week.
The 5-foot-10, 216-pound graduate transfer ripped off long runs early and often as UK bulldozed its way to a 23-0 first half edge, including six rushes of at least 15 yards that included a 75-yard touchdown run on which he was barely touched. For the game, the San Francisco native put up a performance that will long live in the annals of Kentucky football:
- His 280 yards rushing are the third-most in a game in program history, and were just 19 short of the school record.
- He became the ninth player in UK history to eclipse 200 yards rushing in a game, while it marked the 13th instance in program history.
- His 280 yards helped him eclipse 3,000 yards rushing for his career, currently sitting at 3,091.
- Prior to today’s game, just two active FBS players eclipsed 3,000.
- His 280 yards were the second-most rushing yards of any player on any team against Florida.
- Tyr Davis-Price of LSU holds the top spot with 287 against UF in 2021.
- His four touchdowns tied the school record for the most total touchdowns in a game.
- He became the 13th player in UK history to have four touchdowns in a game, while it marked the 15th instance in program history.
- He has scored at least one touchdown in each game this season, first Wildcat to TD in the first five games since Artose Pinner in 2002.
- It was his second game this season to have a rushing and receiving TD.
- On his second touchdown, he had a career-long, 75-yard score rushing.
- The best two rushes of his career have occurred in Blue and White, first with a 55-yard rush against Akron, followed by the 75-yard rush against Florida.
- It was Kentucky’s longest run in school history vs. Florida.
The 2023 Doak Walker Award winner will be unveiled live on The Home Depot College Football Awards, televised by ESPN on Dec. 7 or 8. The annual banquet, where the winner and the recipient of the 2024 PwC Doak Walker Legends Award will be honored, will take place in February in Dallas.
The Doak Walker Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA includes college football’s most prestigious awards and its 24 awards have honored more than 900 recipients dating back to 1935. This season, 12 NCFAA awards will honor national players of the week each Tuesday. For more information about the NCFAA and its award programs, visit the redesigned NCFAA.org or follow on X at @NCFAA.
No. 20 Kentucky (5-0, 2-0 SEC) travels to top-ranked Georgia (5-0, 2-0 SEC) Saturday for a 7 p.m. matchup between the hedges on ESPN.