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And the Winners Are...
Kelley King
December 09, 2002
SI's picks for all the best—and worst—from an eventful season
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December 09, 2002

And The Winners Are...

SI's picks for all the best—and worst—from an eventful season

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The Heisman trophy is the most high-profile award in college football, but it's not the sport's only major honor. Here are our picks for some of the others, as well as a few awards of our own.

DOAK WALKER (best running back)
Miami sophomore Willis McGahee (1,481 rushing yards, 21 touchdowns) gets the nod in a tight race. Perm State's Larry Johnson rushed for an astounding 2,015 yards but averaged only 70.7 in the Nittany Lions' three losses. Ohio State's Maurice Clarett electrified the Buckeyes offense with 14 touchdowns despite missing three games with a shoulder injury, but McGahee stepped up in each of Miami's 11 wins.

DAVEY O'BRIEN (best quarterback)
Iowa senior Brad Banks leads the nation in pass efficiency (166.1 rating) and has thrown 25 touchdown passes and only four interceptions. He edges USC's Carson Palmer and Miami's Ken Dorsey.

BILETNIKOFF (best receiver)
Charles Rogers, a 6'4", 205-pound junior, was the only bright spot for 4-8 Michigan State, catching 68 passes for 1,351 yards and 13 touchdowns.

NAGURSKI (best defensive player)
Arizona State junior defensive end Terrell Suggs was virtually unblockable, setting a Division I-A record with 22 sacks. He should also collect the Lombardi Award as the top lineman.

THORPE (best defensive back)
Notre Dame's Shane Walton is the leader of a stout defense, which is second in the nation with 21 interceptions. Walton has seven picks and has returned two for TDs.

BUTKUS (best linebacker)
E.J. Henderson, who battled through a preseason back injury to lead Maryland with 158 tackles (15� for loss), is a major reason the Terps pulled off a second straight 10-win season.

COACH OF THE YEAR
Second-year Ohio State coach Jim Tressel beats out Notre Dame's Tyrone Willingham for leading the Buckeyes to a 13-0 record and putting them in a position to win their first national championship in 34 years. Tressel had the courage to go against his conservative instincts and call for a Craig Krenzel pass on fourth-and-one with 1:36 remaining and Ohio State losing 6-3 at Purdue on Nov. 9; the Buckeyes scored on the play and went on to win 10-6.

IRON WILL AWARD
Despite tearing the ACL in his right (punting) knee in September, Alabama senior Lane Bearden played in all but one game, averaged 41.5 yards per punt and even made an open-field tackle against Auburn to prevent a touchdown.

PLAY OF THE YEAR
Kentucky fans were embracing each other and players were dousing coach Guy Morriss with Gatorade when LSU quarterback Marcus Randall threw a Hail Mary. The ball was tipped three times and fell into the arms of a streaking Devery Henderson, who ran it in for a 75-yard touchdown as time expired to give the Tigers a 33-30 win.

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