Matt Leinart Named USC's Most Valuable Player

Dec. 16, 2003

LOS ANGELES-USC All-American sophomore quarterback Matt Leinart, who set Pac-10 season records for touchdown passes (35) and consecutive passes without an interception (212) while finishing sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 2003, was named the Most Valuable Player of the top-ranked Rose Bowl-bound Trojan football team at the annual awards banquet Tuesday night (Dec. 16) at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Leinart also was USC's Player of the Game versus Notre Dame after throwing for 351 yards and an Irish opponent record-tying 4 touchdowns in the 45-14 victory in South Bend.

Senior wide receiver Keary Colbert, whose 201 catches are 4 shy of breaking the Trojan career reception record, won USC's Most Inspirational Player award.

Consensus All-American sophomore wide receiver Mike Williams, the eighth-place finisher in the Heisman voting who had 11 catches for 181 yards and 2 TDs in Troy's 47-22 win over the Bruins, was named USC's Player of the Game versus UCLA.

Consensus All-American senior tackle Jacob Rogers was chosen USC's Offensive Lineman of the Year, while consensus All-American junior end Kenechi Udeze repeated as USC's Defensive Lineman of the Year. Senior cornerbacks Will Poole and Marcell Allmond were USC's Co-Special Teams Players of the Year.

A complete list of the awards:

Most Valuable Player: quarterback Matt Leinart

Most Inspirational Player: wide receiver Keary Colbert

Linemen of the Year: offensive tackle Jacob Rogers (offense), defensive end Kenechi Udeze (defense)

Co-Special Teams Players of the Year: cornerbacks Will Poole and Marcell Allmond

Service Team Players of the Year: tailback Andre Woodert (offense), defensive end Lawrence Jackson (defense)

Player of the Game versus UCLA: wide receiver Mike Williams

Player of the Game versus Notre Dame: quarterback Matt Leinart

Jack Oakie 'Rise and Shine' Award (longest play of the year): tailback Reggie Bush (96-yard kickoff return vs. UCLA)

Howard Jones/Football Alumni Club Academic Award (for overall academic achievement): tight end Matt Cassel

Bob Chandler Award (for the underclassman with outstanding athletic ability, academic achievement and character): safety Jason Leach

John McKay Award (for the underclassman with the most competitive spirit): linebacker Lofa Tatupu Courage Award: linebacker Melvin Simmons

Co-Lifters Award: offensive guard Lenny Vandermade, defensive tackle Mike Patterson

Team Captains: wide receiver Keary Colbert, linebacker Melvin Simmons

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