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SCS.com Heisman Hopefuls SCS.com

By: Jonathan
SouthernCollegeSports.com Editor
Contact Jonathan

Heisman Hopefuls 2003 After a complete season of ranking the nation's top football players, SCS.com takes a final look at who the award should be given to. Be sure to tune in to ESPN Saturday night, December 13 for the presentation of the Heisman Trophy....

[ Updated December 9 ]

.ONELARRY FITZGERALD   PITTSBURGH PANTHERS (8-4)
Pittsburgh WR Larry Fitzgerald Wide Receiver   Sophomore   6'3" 225 lbs
SEASON STATS: 87 receptions   1595 yards   18.3 yards/catch   132.9 yards/game   22 TDs
LAST GAME: vs Miami (L) - 3 receptions   26 yards   8.7 yards/catch   1 TD
WHY HE SHOULD WIN IT: Fitzgerald has been the major reason for Pitt's success all season, whether he was catching his weekly TD or just attracting all of the other team's defensive attention. He has been nothing short of remarkable, making catches that most pro WRs have never even thought about. And any WR that, even with the defense blanketing him, still catches a TD in nearly 20 straight games deserves to be nationally recognized.
photo courtesy pittsburghpanthers.com
..TWOCHRIS PERRY   MICHIGAN WOLVERINES (10-2)
Michigan RB Chris Perry Running Back   Senior   6'1" 228 lbs
SEASON STATS: 315attempts   1589 yards   5.0 yards/carry   132.4 yards/game   17 rush TDs
LAST GAME: vs Ohio State (W) - 31 attempts   154 yards   5.0 yards/attempt   2 TDs   5 receptions   55 yards   11.0 yards/catch   0 TDs
WHY HE SHOULD WIN IT: Chris Perry is at the top of the list in every national rushing category. He leads the Big Ten in rushing yards, yards per game, carries, and is tied for the lead in rushing touchdowns. He was the one constant even as Michigan hit bumps in the road in mid-season. If not for Perry keeping the collective UM heart beating, the Wolverines would not have been in position to win the Big Ten title and earn the BCS bowl berth.
photo courtesy mgoblue.com
....THREEJASON WHITE   OKLAHOMA SOONERS (12-1)
Oklahoma QB Jason White Quarterback   Senior   6'3" 221 lbs
SEASON STATS: 265 completions   414 attempts   3744 yards   64.0 completion %   9.0 yards/attempt   288.0 yards/game   40 TDs   8 INTs
LAST GAME: vs Kansas State (L) - 27 completions   50 attempts   54.0 completion %   298 yards   11.0 yards/attempt   0 TDs   2 INTs
WHY HE SHOULD WIN IT: White has led the Oklahoma Sooners all year long, and all year long, the Sooners have been considered the nation's best team. Should one slip-up against a great opponent on a neutral site in a game that didn't really affect OU's BCS status harm him all that much? White still has a chance to win the national title, but the Sooners and White may have missed out on this honor thanks to their dismal peroformance against KSU.
photo courtesy soonerports.com
....FOURELI MANNING   MISSISSIPPI REBELS (9-3)
Mississippi QB Eli Manning Quarterback   Senior   6'5" 218 lbs
SEASON STATS: 253 completions   410 attempts   3341 yards   61.7 completion %   8.1 yards/attempt   278.4 yards/game   27 TDs   9 INTs
LAST GAME: at Mississippi State (W) - 19 completions   27 attempts   70.4 completion %   260 yards   13.7 yards/attempt   3 TDs   0 INTs
WHY HE SHOULD WIN IT: The Rebels would have never been in a position to be in contention for the SEC West title without Manning. Thanks to the big play of their QB, Mississippi will be playing in the Cotton Bowl, one of the best non-BCS bowls in the nation. However, Eli could have used one more big show, like the SEC Championship Game, to strut his stuff. Because he and UM could not get it done against LSU at home, Manning will miss out on the honor.
photo courtesy olemisssports.com
NEXT THREE UP: Philip Rivers QB NC State, Kevin Jones RB Virginia Tech, B.J. Symons QB Texas Tech

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