NEW YORK -- Oklahoma quarterback Jason White was picked
Wednesday as one of four finalists for the Heisman Trophy award.
White, voted as The Associated Press' top player earlier
Wednesday, is the favorite along with Fitzgerald. The winner will
be announced Saturday night at the Yale Club in New York.
Southern California quarterback Carson Palmer won the award last
Manning was the only one of the finalists who was prominently
mentioned as a leading candidate before the season started.
White was coming off a pair of season-ending knee injuries,
Fitzgerald was only a sophomore and Perry had never had a breakout
White had one of the best seasons ever for a college
quarterback, guiding the Sooners to a 12-1 record and keeping them
at the top of the polls until the final week of the season.
He threw at least two touchdown passes every game until
struggling in the Big 12 championship last Saturday against Kansas
State. He went 27-for-50 for 298 yards, no touchdowns and two
interceptions in a 35-7 loss to the Wildcats.
White completed 265 of 414 passes for 3,744 yards, with 40
touchdowns and just eight interceptions, leading the nation in
"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
The third-ranked Sooners still made it to the BCS title game at
the Nokia Sugar Bowl despite the loss. They will play No. 2 LSU on Jan. 4
for the championship of the coaches' poll.
No. 1 USC plays No. 4 Michigan in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 with a
chance to win the AP title.
Fitzgerald had 87 catches for 1,595 yards and 22 touchdowns, but
his team finished 8-4. He caught at least one touchdown pass in all
12 games -- tying Randy Moss' single-season NCAA record -- and in a
record 18 consecutive games dating to last season.
He set seven Big East records while leading the nation in
receiving yards per game (132.9), total receiving yards, receiving
touchdowns and total touchdowns.
"He virtually carried that offense single-handedly," Miami
coach Larry Coker said. "He's as good as it gets."
Manning won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as the nation's
top senior quarterback. He has thrown for 3,341 yards and 27
touchdowns this season for No. 16 Mississippi.
Manning led the Southeastern Conference in yards passing per
game, completions, TD passes and average total offense. He holds 45
school records, 27 of which were once held by his father, Archie.
Manning's hopes to win the Heisman Trophy that his father and
brother, Peyton, fell short of were hurt by a poor performance last
month against LSU with the SEC West title on the line.
He went 16-for-36 for 200 yards with a touchdown and an
interception in a 17-14 loss to the Tigers on Nov. 22.
While some of the Heisman finalists struggled in their biggest
games, Perry did his best against the biggest opponents. He was
fourth in the nation with 1,589 yards rushing and also caught 42
passes and scored 19 touchdowns.
Perry capped a spectacular season with a 204-yard, two-TD game
in a 35-21 victory against Ohio State that sent Michigan to the
Perry also ran for 219 yards and a touchdown on 51 attempts
against Michigan State, caught 11 passes for 122 yards and a TD and
had 85 yards rushing and another score in a comeback win against
Minnesota that saved the Wolverines' season, and scored four
touchdowns against Notre Dame.
There were 922 ballots sent out for the award, 870 to the media,
51 to former winners one for a special fan vote.