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White wins AP award.....
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Old 10 Dec 2003, 02:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default White wins AP award.....

Associated Press
NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma quarterback Jason White capped his return from two serious knee injuries by being honored Wednesday as The Associated Press College Player of the Year.


White emerged as the nation's top-rated passer, leading the third-ranked Sooners to an undefeated regular season and a berth in the Bowl Championship Series title game.


Oklahoma (12-1) will play No. 2 LSU (12-1) in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4.


"The last two years, I've had a lot of time to grow up," said White, who was the Big 12 offensive player of the year. "These awards mean more to the team than to any individual. It just shows what kind of a great year that we've all had."


White, one of the leading contenders for the Heisman Trophy, received 27 votes in balloting by 56 members of the AP college football poll board, which includes representatives of newspapers, TV and radio stations. Pittsburgh wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald finished second with 19 votes.


Mississippi quarterback Eli Manning and Kansas State running back Darren Sproles tied for third with three votes apiece. Michigan running back Chris Perry got two votes, and Southern Cal quarterback Matt Leinart and his top target, receiver Mike Williams, each received one vote.


The nation's top-rated passer was selected AP Player of the Year for the second straight season; Iowa's Brad Banks won in 2002.


It's easy to forget that White was one of the few question marks for the Sooners coming into this season.


His two previous years ended with knee injuries, robbing him of the speed that was considered a real asset. After recovering from his second knee surgery, White had to fight off a challenge from three other quarterbacks to reclaim his starting spot.


That competition lasted through spring practices and was expected to resume during the fall, but coach Bob Stoops ended the doubt by making White his starter.


Once in the starting lineup, White flourished.


"He's had one of the greatest years of any quarterback ever," Oklahoma offensive coordinator Chuck Long said. "It's a great story for anyone. People could learn a lot from his determination."


White completed 265 of 414 passes for 3,744 yards, with 40 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. And that's despite missing about six quarters of playing time in the Sooners' blowouts.
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Old 10 Dec 2003, 03:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Not surprised by this, though I hope he doesn't win the Heisman.
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