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Manning Award goes to Boston College quarterback Ryan

NEW ORLEANS -- Boston College senior quarterback Matt Ryan
is the winner of the 2008 Manning Award, presented by the Sugar
Bowl.

The Manning Award was created by the Sugar Bowl in honor of the
college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and
Eli Manning.
It is the only quarterback award that considers the candidate's
bowl performance. The award is voted on by a panel of local and
national media, as well as each of the Mannings. Florida's Tim
Tebow finished second.

Ryan completed just over 59 percent of his passes (388 of 654)
for 4,507 yards with 31 touchdowns. He led the Eagles to an 11-3
record, their highest win total since 1940.

Ryan, who was a first-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference
selection and the conference's Offensive Player of the Year, led BC
to a No. 2 BCS ranking as the Eagles began the season with eight
straight wins.

Ryan led his team to three road wins over ranked teams and
capped off his season with a three-touchdown performance in leading
the Eagles to a 24-21 win over Michigan State in the Champs Sports
Bowl. It was the eighth consecutive bowl win by Boston College, the
longest such streak in the nation.

"After a highly competitive season, our Manning Award voting
was the closest in history," said Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan.
"Matt Ryan led the Eagles to their highest win total in nearly 70
years and joins our distinguished list of awardees."

Ryan is the fourth winner of the award, which began following
the 2004 regular season. USC's Matt Leinart was the inaugural
winner, followed by Texas' Vince Young. Last season, LSU's
JaMarcus Russell earned the award, capped by his performance in the Allstate
Sugar Bowl. All three players went on to become first-round draft
picks in the NFL.

"In an exceptional season for quarterbacks, Matt Ryan's
performance rose above our most talented class of finalists ever to
win this year's award," Archie Manning said. "His record-breaking
season led Boston College to new heights and we are proud to
announce him as this year's winner and look forward to honoring him
in New Orleans later this year."

Ryan beat out Tebow and eight other finalists for this year's
award: Erik Ainge (Tennessee), Sam Bradford (Oklahoma),
Colt Brennan (Hawaii), Chase Daniel (Missouri), Dennis Dixon (Oregon),
Graham Harrell (Texas Tech), Patrick White (West Virginia) and
Andre Woodson (Kentucky).