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USC Quarterback Matt Leinart Wins Heisman

by Matt James

The final Heisman Trophy tallies turned out to be quite surprising with USC quarterback Matt Leinart taking home the hardware while teammate Reggie Bush finished fifth. Leinart became the second Trojan quarterback to win the award in the last three years after Carson Palmer grabbed the honor in 2002. This is the fifth straight season that the award has been won by a quarterback.

Leinart has thrown for 6,546 yards, 66 touchdowns and just 15 interceptions over the past two seasons. He was sixth in last year's voting. This year, Leinart threw for 2,990 yards with 28 touchdowns and 6 INTs and became USC's sixth Heisman Trophy winner.

Oklahoma freshman running back Adrian Peterson was second, the highest finish ever for a freshman. Peterson ran for 1,843 yards and 15 TDs. The two previous top finishes by a freshman were by RB Herschel Walker of Georgia in 1980 and RB Clint Castleberry of Georgia Tech in 1942. Each finished third in their respective campaigns. Michael Vick was third as a redshirt freshman in 1999, the year he led Virginia Tech to the national championship game against Florida State.

Oklahoma quarterback Jason White, bidding to become only the second player in history to win it twice, finished third in the balloting. White passed for 2,961 yards and 33 touchdowns with 6 interceptions. When he won the award last year, he threw for 3,748 yards, 40 TDs and 8 INTs. Ohio State halfback Archie Griffin did it in 1974 and 1975.

Utah quarterback Alex Smith was fourth. Smith led Utah to the first BCS bowl berth ever received by a school from a non-BCS conference. He passed for 2,624 yards, 28 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions. He also ran for 563 yards and 10 TDs.

Reggie Bush ran for 833 yards and 6 scores. He also caught 41 passes for 478 yards and 7 more TDs. He added 870 yards returning kick-offs and punts with two punt return touchdowns. That's an all-purpose total of 2,181 yards and 15 scores. Oh yeah, he also threw a 52-yard touchdown pass on his only toss of the season.

Two sets of teammates finished in the top five for the first time ever. Three sets of teammates placed in the top 10.

Each voter gets to submit a ballot that ranks their top three players. Points are tallied by awarding 3 points for each first-place vote, two points for second, and one point for third.

Here is the breakdown of that voting:

Matt Lienart Jr. USC QB 267 211 102 1,325
Adrian Peterson Fr. Oklahoma RB 154 180 175 997
Jason White Sr. Oklahoma QB 171 149 146 957
Alex Smith Sr. Utah QB 98 112 117 635
Reggie Bush So. USC TB 118 80 83 597
Cedric Benson Sr. Texas RB 12 41 69 187
Jason Campbell Sr. Auburn QB 21 24 51 162
J. J. Arrington Sr. California RB 10 33 19 115
Aaron Rodgers Jr. California QB 8 14 15 67
Braylon Edwards Sr. Michigan WR 3 13 27 62

Also See: All-Time Heisman List


AP Coach Of the Year: Tommy Tuberville, Auburn

Home Depot Coach Of the Year: Urban Meyer, Utah

AP Player Of the Year: Matt Leinart, USC

Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player): David Pollack, Georgia
See: All-Time Chuck Bednarik Award Winners

Fred Biletnikoff Award (receiver): Braylon Edwards, Michigan
See: All-Time Fred Biletnikoff Award Winners

Dick Butkus Award (linebacker): Derrick Johnson, Texas
See: All-Time Dick Butkus Award Winners

Walter Camp Award (top player): Matt Leinart, USC
See: All-Time Walter Camp POY Winners

Lou Groza Award (placekicker): Mike Nugent, Ohio State
See: All-Time Lou Groza Award Winners

Ray Guy Award (punter): Daniel Sepulveda, Baylor
See: All-Time Ray Guy Award Winners

Vince Lombardi Award (lineman or linebacker): David Pollack, Georgia
See: All-Time Vince Lombardi Award Winners

John Mackey Award (tight end): Heath Miller, Virginia
See: All-Time John Mackey Award Winners

Robert W. (Tiny) Maxwell Award (top player): Jason White, Oklahoma
See: All-Time Robert W. (Tiny) Maxwell Award Winners

Bronko Nagurski Trophy (defensive player): Derrick Johnson, Texas, LB
See: All-Time Bronko Nagurski Trophy Winners

Davey O'Brien Award (quarterback): Jason White, Oklahoma
See: All-Time Davey O'Brien Award Winners

Outland Trophy (interior lineman): Jammal Brown, Oklahoma
See: All-Time Outland Trophy Winners

Dave Rimington Trophy (center): David Baas, Michigan
(co-winner) Ben Wilkerson, LSU
See: All-Time Dave Rimington Award Winners

Jim Thorpe Award (defensive back): Carlos Rogers, Auburn
See: All-Time Jim Thorpe Award Winners

Johnny Unitas Award (senior quarterback): Jason White, Oklahoma
See: All-Time Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Winners

Doak Walker Award (running back): Cedric Benson, Texas
See: All-Time Doak Walker Award Winners


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