Matt Leinart Named A Semifinalist For The Davey O'Brien Award

Nov. 11, 2004

Junior Matt Leinart has been named one of 13 semifinalists for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, presented annually by the Davey O'Brien Foundation to the nation's best college quarterback.

The O'Brien Selection Committee, composed of national sportswriters and commentators, as well as former O'Brien Award winners, will vote later this month to narrow the field again. The three finalists will be announced on Nov. 23 by the National College Football Awards Association in a joint effort among college football award programs.

Besides Leinart, the other semifinalists are: Auburn's Jason Campbell, Hawaii's Timmy Chang, Georgia's David Greene, Florida's Chris Leak, Louisville's Stefan LeFors, Texas A&M's Reggie McNeal, Purdue's Kyle Orton, California's Aaron Rodgers, Utah's Alex Smith, Arizona State's Andrew Walter, Oklahoma's Jason White and Boise State's Jared Zabransky.

The winner of the 2004 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award will be announced live on ESPN on the 2004 Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec . 9 in Orlando, Fla. The winner will be honored Feb. 21, 2005, at the 28th annual Davey O'Brien Awards Dinner at The Fort Worth Club in downtown Fort Worth. Archie Manning, recipient of the 2004 Davey O'Brien Legends Award, and the O'Brien High School Scholarship Award winner also will be honored that night.

Leinart, who also is a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award, is 176-of-274 (64.2%) passing in 2004 for 2068 yards and 20 TD with just 5 interceptions. He also has run for 3 TDs. He is fourth on USC's career passing list (431 completions) and fifth on the total offense chart (5,539 yards). He already has thrown 58 touchdowns in just 22 career starts, with at least 1 TD in every game he has started and at least 2 TDs in all but 2 games. He is averaging a TD pass every 11.7 career attempts. During USC's current 18-game winning streak, he has thrown 50 TDs and just 8 interceptions. USC is 21-1 when he starts.

The Davey O'Brien Foundation was established in 1977 to present the O'Brien Memorial Award, recognizing annually the outstanding college football player in the five southwestern states of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. In 1981, the award was redirected to be national in scope but limited to quarterback, the favorite position of the award's namesake, Davey O'Brien. O'Brien led the TCU Horned Frogs to the 1938 national championship and was the first player to win the Heisman, Walter Camp and Maxwell Awards in one season. A high school scholarship program began in 1986, awarding annually a $20,000 college scholarship to an outstanding senior student-athlete who attends high school in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.