Campaign on track for running back

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The University of Memphis has begun the first Heisman Trophy campaign in school history, promoting running back DeAngelo Williams for the award.

Williams, a third-team All American and two-time Conference USA offensive player of the year, led Memphis to bowl games the past two seasons -- a first for the Tigers.

The university plans to spend $30,000 on the campaign called "Race For The Heisman." Memphis sanctioned production of a 7½-inch die-cast model of a NASCAR racer in Tiger gray and blue. The model sports Williams' No. 20 and his picture.

It's common for schools to hype their Heisman hopefuls with posters, T-shirts, postcards to sports reporters and other such gimmicks, and Memphis hopes the model racer stands out from the rest.

"We're both built to run," Williams said as the university announced the campaign Thursday.

Williams gave much of the credit for his success to the offensive line and said he hopes others players are included in the promotion as members of his pit crew.

"It would be nice for them to be like standing in the back with wrenches and things like that," he said.