Onterrio Smith Named as Finalist for Walter Camp Player-of-the-Year Award
Nov. 12, 2002
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - University of Oregon junior tailback Onterrio Smith was one of 10 players announced as finalists for the 2002 Player of the Year award by the Walter Camp Football Foundation Tuesday.
One of the oldest individual college football awards in the country, the honor is awarded to the nation's top college football player and named after Walter Camp, who is recognized as 'The Father of American football.'
The individual winner, who will receive his trophy during the Foundation's annual national awards banquet on Feb. 8, 2003 at Yale University, will be announced live on ESPN's SportsCenter on Thursday, Dec. 12.
Smith became second-fastest player in school history to reach the 1,000-yard plateau, doing so in the eighth game of the season after opening the season running for over 100 yards in each of the Ducks' first seven games. Accumulating 1,079 yards rushing in nine games (119.9-yard avg.) and 12 touchdowns, Smith rose to as high as sixth in the country in rushing with a 133.7-yard average through seven games before injuries have since slowed the two-time 1,000-yard rusher over the last three contests.
The Sacramento, Calif., standout was one of five running backs chosen among the finalists, joining Colorado's Chris Brown, Ohio State's Maurice Clarett, Oklahoma's Quentin Griffin and Miami's Willis McGahee, and was one of three representatives from the Pacific-10 Conference. The other two Pac-10 honorees were quarterbacks Jason Gesser of Washington State and USC's Carson Palmer.
Rounding out the remaining finalists were a trio of quarterbacks - Iowa's Brad Banks, Miami's Ken Dorsey and Marshall's Byron Leftwich.
The first Walter Camp All-America team was selected in 1889. The Walter Camp Football Foundation was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of annually selecting an All-America team.
College football fans can also vote for their favorite candidate at www.waltercamp.org.