Tulane's Matt Forté Named Maxwell Award Semifinalist

Go C-USA! Matt Forte'
Matt Forte'

Nov. 8, 2007

Tulane University football standout Matt Forté was named one of 15 semi-finalists for the 71st Maxwell Award for the Collegiate Player of the Year, Maxwell Football Club President Ron Jaworski announced Thursday.

Forté is the only student-athlete from a non-BCS AQ league on the list and is one of seven running backs, joining Michigan's Mike Hart, Arkansas' Darren McFadden, Illinois' Rashard Mendenhall, Rutgers' Ray Rice, West Virginia's Steve Slaton and Oregon's Jonathan Stewart.

A late addition to the Maxwell Award Watch List, Forté currently leads all NCAA Division I-Bowl Subdivision players in rushing yards (1,642) and rushing yards per game (182.44) while ranking third in all-purpose yards per game (205.89) and 11th in scoring (9.80 ppg). His 15 rushing touchdowns currently ranks tied for fourth nationally.

At his current pace, Forté would finish the season with the highest yards-per-game average since LaDainian Tomlinson of TCU averaged 196.2 in 2000. His projected yardage total of 2,189 would rank third-highest in NCAA single-season history behind USC's Marcus Allen (2,342 in 1981) and Oklahoma State's Barry Sanders (2,628 in 1988).

Forté owns three of the top six individual-game rushing performances in the nation in 2007: No. 1 with 342 yards and four touchdowns vs. SMU (Oct. 20), No. 3 with 303 yards and five touchdowns vs. Southeastern Louisiana (Sept. 22), and No. 6 with 278 yards and two scores vs. Memphis (Oct. 27).

He has five 200-plus yard rushing games - including a pair of 300-yard ballgames - making him the only NCAA DI-BSD player to accomplish that feat this season. Over the last seven games, Forté has run for 1,510 yards and 14 touchdowns - including 1,031 yards and nine scores in the month of October along - and is averaging 215.7 yards per game during that span.

A two-time Walter Camp Football Foundation National Offensive Player of the Week honoree in 2007, Forté also holds five of the Top 62 single-game all-purpose yard performances this season and is one of only two non-quarterbacks to rank in the NCAA's Top 100 in total offense. Of the two non-QBs, Forté is tops among the pair ranking 85th with 182.4 yards per game (all rushing).



Forté's 303 rushing yards vs. Southeastern Louisiana set a Conference USA single-game rushing record, and he broke his own mark three games later with 342 yards at SMU. His five scores against SLU is tied for the highest scoring output nationally in 2007.

The announcement of the Maxwell Award winner will be made during the Home Depot College Football Awards Show that will be broadcast on ESPN on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007. The three finalists for the award will be in attendance for the ESPN broadcast and the formal presentation will be made at the Maxwell Football Club's Awards Dinner on Friday, March 7, 2008, at the Harrahs Entertainment Complex in Atlantic City, N.J.

Forté and the Green Wave return to action on Saturday, Oct. 10, when they take on league foe UTEP at 6 p.m. in the Louisiana Superdome. The game against the Miners is the final home game of the 2007 season, and Tulane's 14-member senior class will be honored with a special ceremony prior to kickoff.

Semifinalists for the 71st Maxwell Award

Player Name         School                   Position   Year
Brian Brohm         University of Louisville    QB       Sr.
Michael Crabtree    Texas Tech                  WR       Fr.
Chase Daniel        University of Missouri      QB       Jr.
Dennis Dixon        University of Oregon        QB       Sr.
Matt Forté          Tulane University           RB       Sr.
Mike Hart           University of Michigan      RB       Sr.
Darren McFadden     University of Arkansas      RB       Jr.
Rashard Mendenhall  University of Illinois      RB       Jr.
Ray Rice            Rutgers University          RB       Jr.
Matt Ryan           Boston College              QB       Sr.
Steve Slaton        West Virginia University    RB       Sr.
Jonathan Stewart    University of Oregon        RB       Jr.
Tim Tebowe          University of Florida       QB       So.
Pat White           West Virginia University    QB       Jr.
Andre Woodson       University of Kentucky      QB       Sr.

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