Thursday, December 12, 2002

No. 1 Miami has two Heisman finalists

Dorsey, McGahee joined by Palmer, Banks, Johnson

The Associated Press

NEW YORK - Top-ranked Miami's Ken Dorsey and Willis McGahee are Heisman Trophy finalists, the first time since 1994 that teammates were among the top five in the voting.

Iowa quarterback Brad Banks, Penn State running back Larry Johnson and Southern California quarterback Carson Palmer also were invited Wednesday for the award's presentation.

The winner of one of the most wide-open Heisman races will be announced Saturday night at the Yale Club in New York.

The last time two players from the same school finished in the top five was eight years ago, when Penn State's Ki-Jana Carter was second and Kerry Collins fourth.

McGahee, a tailback who wasn't even supposed to start this season, would be the first sophomore to win the award given to college football's most outstanding player.

Palmer is trying to become the first West Coast player to win since USC's Marcus Allen in 1981.

Of the five finalists, only quarterback Dorsey opened the season as a true Heisman hopeful; he finished third in the 2001 voting and led Miami to a national title.

McGahee ended the 2001 season as Miami's starting fullback but moved back to tailback because of teammates' injuries. He shattered the school record with 27 touchdowns and set school records for yards rushing (1,686), total yards (2,036), and 100-yard games (10).

Banks never started a Division I-A game until this season, but it never looked that way. The senior led the nation in passing efficiency, going 155-of-258 for 2,369 yards, 25 touchdowns and four interceptions. He was The Associated Press College Player of the Year.

Johnson emerged late in the season. He finished with 2,015 yards rushing, only the ninth Division I-A player to top 2,000 in a season. His 2,575 all-purpose yards this year are a Penn State record and ninth best in NCAA history.

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