Thursday, July 20, 2017
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech sophomore B-back Dedrick Mills (Waycross, Ga./Ware County) is one of 61 running backs on the official watch list for the 2017 Doak Walker Award, which was released on Thursday.
The Doak Walker Award is presented annually to college football’s top running back. Mills is one of only 10 underclassmen among the 61 student-athletes on the initial watch list for the 28th edition of the award.
Mills led Georgia Tech with 771 rushing yards and 13 total touchdowns (12 rushing, one receiving) in just nine games as a true freshman last season. Despite playing at least four fewer games than his nearest competitors, his 12 rushing touchdowns were tied for third nationally among all freshmen. If he had played in enough games to meet the minimum for inclusion in NCAA per-game stats, he would’ve ranked second among all freshmen nationally in scoring (8.7 ppg) and fourth among freshmen in rushing (85.7 ypg).
He opened his collegiate career by scoring the game-winning touchdown with 35 seconds to go in the Yellow Jackets’ 17-14 victory over Boston College and closed his freshman campaign by being named TaxSlayer Bowl MVP after rushing for 169 yards and a touchdown in Tech’s 33-18 postseason triumph over Kentucky. He was named Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Week twice (Sept. 17 vs. Vanderbilt, Oct. 1 vs. Miami), becoming the first Jacket to earn the award multiple times since Calvin Johnson in 2004.
In addition to being on the official Doak Walker Award watch list, Mills’ preseason honors also include being named preseason all-ACC and included on the official watch list for the Maxwell Award, which is presented to college football’s top player.
Ten semifinalists for the 2017 Doak Walker Award will be selected on Nov. 15 and the list will be trimmed to three finalists on Nov. 20. The winner will be announced as part of The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 7 in Atlanta and the award will be formally presented on Feb. 16, 2018 in Dallas.
Mills and the Yellow Jackets open the 2017 campaign on Monday, Sept. 4 versus Tennessee in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta. A limited number of season tickets, which include a seat for the highly anticipated opener against Tennessee at MBS, remain.