White, Leinart each take home prestigious awards
Friday, December 10, 2004
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Oklahoma quarterback Jason White was a two-time award winner Thursday night, taking the Maxwell Award as college football's best all-around player and adding his second straight Davey O'Brien quarterback trophy.
White, last year's Heisman Trophy winner, also is a finalist for this year's Heisman to be presented Saturday night in New York.
White had 30 touchdown passes and just four interceptions in leading the Sooners (12-0) to the national title game against Southern California in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 4. He beat out teammate Adrian Peterson and Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart for the Maxwell, and topped Leinart and Utah quarterback Alex Smith for the Davey O'Brien Award.
Leinart didn't leave the awards ceremony empty-handed. He was chosen Walter Camp player of the year. Also a Heisman finalist, Leinart has No. 1 USC (12-0) in position to win a second straight national title. He threw for 2,748 yards and 28 touchdowns.
The Maxwell Award once was a good predictor of the Heisman with 14 of 19 players earning both awards from 1981 to 1999. But the last four Maxwell winners fell short in winning the Heisman, college football's top individual prize.
Texas running back Cedric Benson won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top runner, gaining 1,764 yards and scoring 20 touchdowns.
Georgia defensive end David Pollack won the Chuck Bednarik Trophy as the nation's best defensive player. On Wednesday, the 6-foot-3, 261-pound Pollack won the Lombardi Award as the nation's top lineman.
Oklahoma offensive tackle Jammal Brown took the Outland Trophy as the nation's best interior lineman.
Also, Michigan's Braylon Edwards took the Biletnikoff Award for best wide receiver; Auburn's Carlos Rogers won the Jim Thorpe Award for best defensive back; Ohio State's Mike Nugent won the Lou Groza Award for best kicker; and Baylor's Daniel Sepulveda took the Ray Guy Award for best punter.
Utah's Urban Meyer, who took over at Florida earlier this week, was chosen The Home Depot coach of the year.