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Tennessee Quarterback Peyton Manning Wins Three National College Football Awards; Manning Is

December 12, 1997

Tennessee Quarterback Peyton Manning Wins Three National College Football Awards; Manning Is a Favorite To Win Heisman Trophy

Manning beat out Michigan defensive back Charles Woodson for the Maxwell Award, which goes to the best all-around player, and also took the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, and the Scholar-Athlete Award.

In the Maxwell balloting, Manning edged Woodson by 55 votes out of a total of 2,500 cast by the Football Writers Association. Washington State quarterback Ryan Leaf was third. Leaf and Cade McNown of UCLA trailed Manning for the O’Brien award.

``It’s really an honor to receive this (O’Brien) award when you hear the names of some of the other great quarterbacks,″ Manning said. ``That’s really a great fraternity of former players.″

Manning set career records for passing yardage (10,669) and touchdowns (84) at Tennessee and had the most 300-yard passing games in SEC history with 17.

Woodson, who had seven interceptions to push his career total to 17, won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the defensive player of the year, beating out Dre’ Bly of North Carolina and Andy Katzenmoyer of Ohio State. He also captured the Jim Thorpe award, topping Bly and Fred Weary of Florida as the top defensive back.

The coach of the year award went to Mike Price of Washington State, who led his team to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 67 years.

Ricky Williams of Texas, who leads the nation with 1,893 rushing yards, won the Doak Walker Award as the top running back, beating Curtis Enis of Penn State and Ahman Green of Nebraska. The Biletnikoff Award for outstanding receiver went to Randy Moss of Marshall, who had 90 catches for 1,647 yards. He beat out Troy Edwards of Louisiana Tech and Jacquez Green of Florida.

Moss said the award ``is not big on my list, but I think it’s great for the university, having the first Biletnikoff there. It’s big for them.″

Aaron Taylor of Nebraska won the Outland Trophy as outstanding interior lineman, beating out Alan Faneca of Louisiana State and Jason Peter of Nebraska.

``We have a great tradition at Nebraska and it’s just a great honor to be on that line with those guys,″ Taylor said. ``I think we’ll have some more (Outland winners) in the future.″

The Lou Groza place kicker award went to Martin Gramatica of Kansas State, who converted 37 of 38 extra points and 19 of 20 field goals. He topped Sims Lenhardt of Duke and Chris Sailer of UCLA.

Running back Dwight Collins of Central Florida, who has been deaf since he was 11 months old because of menangitis, won the Wide World of Sports Spirit Award.

The awards show was televised live by ESPN from the Walt Disney World Resort at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

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