Friday, December 13, 2002

Johnson wins Maxwell, Doak Walker awards

College football notebook

The Associated Press

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Penn State's Larry Johnson ran away with the Maxwell and Doak Walker awards Thursday night during the college football awards show.

The senior tailback won the Maxwell as the nation's best all-around player and the Doak Walker as the nation's top running back. Johnson, a Heisman Trophy finalist, ran for 2,015 yards to become the ninth major college player to run for 2,000 yards in a season.

The 6-foot-2, 222-pound Johnson beat out fellow Heisman finalists Ken Dorsey of Miami and Brad Banks of Iowa for the Maxwell. Dorsey, who led Miami to a second straight perfect regular season and a spot in the BCS national title game, was last year's winner.

The Heisman, college football's top individual award, will be presented Saturday night in New York. Southern California's Carson Palmer and Miami's Willis McGahee are the other finalists.

"It's really great to be player of the year, but somehow I feel like I've been fattened up for New York," Johnson said. "I think I've won all the awards I'm going to win. I think the Heisman is going to go to somebody else, but I still feel great about everything I won tonight."

Johnson won the Doak Walker over McGahee and Colorado's Chris Brown.

"It's hard to narrow down who's the greatest running back in the country right now," Johnson said. "All those guys are great. Give them two or three more games and they're right there with me. My trophy case is mostly footballs. This will be the first big trophy for me."

Before the awards show, Johnson received the Walter Camp Award as the nation's top college player.

Whether winning all the honors makes Johnson the favorite for the Heisman remains to be seen. Banks was the only other Heisman finalist to pick up an award Thursday, winning the Davey O'Brien quarterback award over Dorsey and Palmer.

Banks, who didn't start a Division I-A game until this season, was the nation's pass efficiency leader, throwing for 2,369 yards with 25 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He also ran for 387 yards and five scores.

The last two O'Brien winners went on to win the Heisman - Nebraska's Eric Crouch last year, and Florida State's Chris Weinke in 2000.

"This is so wild, I feel like I'm in a dream," said Banks, who was chosen The Associated Press College Player of the Year on Monday. "It's like I came out from under a rock or something."

Maryland linebacker E.J. Henderson, the Terrapins' leading tackler for a third straight season, won the Chuck Bednarik Trophy as the nation's best defensive player.

Henderson, who helped Maryland to a second straight 10-win season with 163 tackles, won the trophy over ends Terrell Suggs of Arizona State and Tommie Harris of Oklahoma.

"This is really a great honor to beat out some of the great defensive players in the country," Henderson said. "To beat guys like Terrell Suggs and Tommie Harris is really something."

Washington State defensive tackle Rien Long, who helped the Cougars earn a spot in the Rose Bowl, won the Outland Trophy as the nation's top interior lineman on Thursday night.

Long, a 6-foot-6, 286-pound junior, had 13 sacks this season and won the award over Miami center Brett Romberg and Utah offensive tackle Jordan Gross.

"I'm still waiting for my legs to come back," Long said. "I'm kind of blown away. I try not to think about awards, but when you win a lot of games, it's one of the products of winning. You hear a lot about the East Coast-West Coast bias. I guess my production was judged by the unbiased people as being pretty good."

Michigan State's Charles Rogers won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver.

Rogers, who caught a school-record 68 passes for 1,351 yards and 13 touchdowns, won the award over Nevada's Nate Burleson and Arizona State's Shaun McDonald. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound junior, will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft.

"To start the season as a favorite for an award and win it is really amazing," Rogers said. "It was hard, really hard, because everybody knows you're up for awards and so they're playing hard against you and you have to work that much harder."

Kansas State cornerback Terence Newman won the Thorpe Award given to the nation's top defensive back over Ohio State's Mike Doss and Southern California's Troy Polamalu.

"Our team finished really strong, and I did, too," Newman said. "You never go into a season expecting to win an award, so to be recognized as the best is really incredible."

Colorado's Mark Mariscal won the Ray Guy Award as the nation's top punter over Tennessee's Dustin Colquitt and Kentucky's Glenn Pakulak.

Iowa's Nate Kaeding won the Lou Groza Award given annually to the nation's top kicker over Mike Nugent of Ohio State and Jared Siegel of Oregon.


Leading receiver and senior Damien Dorsey is no longer a member of the Cardinals' football team, coach John L. Smith said. Smith wouldn't say whether Dorsey quit or was thrown off the team.


Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis withdrew as a candidate for the Spartans' coaching job.


Wide receiver and former basketball forward Teyo Johnson will skip his final two seasons of football eligibility to enter the NFL draft.


Montana's Joe Glenn was hired as Wyoming's football coach Thursday after leading successful Division I-AA and Division II programs in Montana and Colorado.


Coach Jim Leavitt signed a five-year, $2.8 million extension Thursday, remaining with one of the nation's fastest-growing programs.

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