Nov. 13, 2003
New Haven, Conn. - - The Walter Camp Football Foundation has announced the 15 "Players to Watch" for its 2003 Player of the Year award, the fourth-oldest individual college football award in the nation, and UCLA defensive end Dave Ball heads the list.
The 2003 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, who is voted on by the 117 Division I-A head coaches and sports information directors, will be announced live on the December 11 6:00 p.m. edition of ESPN SportsCenter. The winner will then receive his trophy at the Foundation's annual national awards banquet on February 14, 2004 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.
Last year's recipient was Penn State running back Larry Johnson, who led the nation in rushing and all-purpose yardage and is currently a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. Walter Camp, "The Father of American football," first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp - a former Yale University athlete and football coach - is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation - a New Haven-based all-volunteer group - was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.
The 15 "Players to Watch" for the 2003 Walter Camp Player of the Year award include:
David Ball, DE, Sr., UCLA - Nation's sack leader (13.5) has already set a UCLA single-season and career records.
Michael Boulware, LB, Sr., Florida State - Leads a strong Seminole defense with 84 tackles (60 solo).
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Soph., Pittsburgh - Nation's leader in receiving yards (1,282) and touchdowns (17).
Tommie Harris, DE, Jr., Oklahoma - Defensive standout for the top-ranked and undefeated Sooners.
Kevin Jones, RB, Jr., Virginia Tech -- Has rushed for 1,104 yards and 14 touchdowns, including six 100-yard efforts.
Matt Leinart, QB, Soph., USC - Has thrown for 2,366 yards and 24 touchdowns, including 14 in last four games.
Eli Manning, QB, Sr., Mississippi - Has passed for 2,881 and 23 touchdowns, including four 300-yard efforts.
Chris Perry, RB, Sr., Michigan - Nation's rushing leader with 1,313 yards, including two 200-yard outings.
Philip Rivers, QB, Sr., North Carolina State - Has passed for 3,318 yards with a 72.2 completion percentage.
Brad Smith, QB, Soph., Missouri - Passing (1,470 yards, 10 TD's) and running (953 yards, 12 TD's) threat for Tigers.
B.J. Symons, QB, Sr., Texas Tech - Nation's passing leader with 4,741 yards and 44 touchdowns.
Michael Turner, RB, Sr., Northern Illinois - Has totaled 1,310 rushing and 208 receiving yards with 13 touchdowns.
Jason White, QB, Sr., Oklahoma - Has passed for 2,745 yards with 32 touchdowns for the top-ranked Sooners.
Reggie Williams, WR, Jr., Washington - Has 78 catches for 1,027 yards and eight touchdowns.
Rashaun Woods, WR, Sr, Oklahoma State - Has 52 catches for 938 yards and 11 touchdowns for Cowboys.