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hawk in at #4 lb
no nugent

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</td><td> </td><td nowrap="nowrap"> email this </td><td> </td><td nowrap="nowrap"> print this </td></tr></tbody> </table> <table border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="1" width="100%"> <tbody><tr><td width="15" rowspan="2">
</td><td class="v1">Posted on Thu, Aug. 26, 2004</td></tr><tr><td colspan="2"> <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="5" align="right"> <tbody><tr><td><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="250"><tbody><tr><td><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <tbody><tr><td align="left" class="adlabel"> <script language="JavaScript1.1"> _krdDartInc++; document.write('<SCRIPT LANGUAGE=\"JavaScript1.1\" SRC="http://ad.doubleclick.net/adj/dfw.sports/colleges;kw=center6;c2=colleges;c3=colleges_homepage:wink2:os=center6;group=rectangle;tile='+_krdDartInc+';ord='+_krdDartOrd+'?"><\/SCRIPT>'); </script><script language=\"JavaScript1.1\" src="http://ad.doubleclick.net/adj/dfw.sports/colleges;kw=center6;c2=colleges;c3=colleges_homepage:wink2:os=center6;group=rectangle;tile=2;ord=1093552403597?"></script>
<noscript> </noscript> </td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr> <tr><td> </td></tr><tr><td class="relatedstoryborder"><table border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="1" width="100%"> <tbody><tr><td class="relatedstorytitlebkg" align="center"> I M A G E S </td></tr> <tr><td align="center" class="relatedstoryborder"> <table align="center"> <tbody><tr><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr><td align="right" width="198"> DETROIT FREE PRESS/KIRTHMON F. DOZIER VIA KRT </td></tr><tr><td align="left" class="v1" width="198"> Braylon Edwards</td></tr></tbody></table> </td></tr> <tr><td align="center" class="relatedstoryborder"> <table align="center"> <tbody><tr><td align="center">
</td></tr><tr><td align="right" width="337"> THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/ORLIN WAGNER </td></tr><tr><td align="left" class="v1" width="337"> Darren Sproles</td></tr><tr><td align="right" class="v1"> More photos...</td></tr></tbody></table> </td></tr> </tbody></table><script language="JavaScript"> <!-- hide script from non-javascript-enabled browsers function getSite(){ foundSite = false; site=document.location.hostname; endPos=site.indexOf(".com"); if (endPos >= 1) { foundSite = true; site = site.substr(0, endPos); startPos = site.lastIndexOf("."); site = site.substr(startPos + 1); } if (!foundSite) { site = "dfw"; } return site; } function getPublication(){ publication=document.location.pathname; startPos=publication.indexOf("/mld/"); publication=publication.substr(startPos+5); endPos=publication.indexOf("/"); publication=publication.substr(0,endPos); return publication; } function openSlideshow(url) { width=480; height=402+270; y=Math.floor((screen.availHeight-height)/2); x=Math.floor((screen.width-width)/2); window.open(url,'slideshow','width='+width+',height='+height+',top='+y+',left='+x+',scrollbars=yes,resizable=yes').focus(); } // --> </script> </td></tr> </tbody></table></td></tr></tbody></table>

Nation's Best


[size=-1]By Wendell Barnhouse[/size]

[size=-1]Star-Telegram Staff Writer[/size]

<!-- begin body-content --> Heisman Trophy candidates

Jason White is destined to become either a trivia question or a historic figure. White, Oklahoma's senior QB, is in position to join Ohio State's Archie Griffin as the only players to win two Heisman Trophies. But White also could join BYU's Ty Detmer and Oklahoma's Billy Sims as players who won as juniors but failed to win as seniors.

1. MATT LEINART, Southern California, QB, Jr. The junior has savvy offensive coordinator Norm Chow and a schedule that could be conducive to big numbers.

2. JASON WHITE, Oklahoma, QB, Sr. The Sooner's biggest obstacle will be convincing voters that he's the player who was terrific in the first 12 games of 2003, not the beat-up QB who struggled in the last two.

3. DARREN SPROLES, Kansas State, RB, Sr. The 5-foot-7 senior is being compared to Barry Sanders, the Oklahoma State tornado who won the 1988 Heisman. If Sproles rushes for 2,000 or more yards, he'll be a serious candidate.

4. CARNELL WILLIAMS, Auburn, RB, Sr. The senior running back has the nickname (Cadillac) and the game (over 5 yards per carry last season). What he needs is good health and enough carries out of a crowded backfield.

5. DAVID GREENE, Georgia, QB, Sr. If the Bulldogs' make a run at the national championship, a big reason will be the cool, calm and collected leadership of this left-handed QB.

Top WRs/TEs

Early departure to the NFL deprived college football of an outstanding group of receivers for this season. Still, with "throw it" the operative terms in most playbooks, the pass catchers who will be on display in 2004 are an impressive bunch.

1. BRAYLON EDWARDS, Michigan, WR, Sr. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder is within reach of setting Michigan career records for receptions, yards and touchdowns.

2. MARK CLAYTON, Oklahoma, WR, Sr. He was Mr. Big Play for the Sooners in 2003. He has great hands, speed and the ability to find openings in opposing secondaries.

3. HEATH MILLER, Virginia, TE, Jr. He is a prototype tight end who makes the Cavaliers' offense go with his blocking and pass catching.

4. GEOFF MCARTHUR, California, WR, Sr. A dangerous deep threat, he averaged 17.6 yards per reception and scored 10 touchdowns in 2003.

5. CRAPHONSO THORPE, WR, Florida State, Sr. He broke a leg last season but has recovered nicely. He should be the top playmaker in an explosive attack.

Top QBs

Of the top 20 quarterbacks in passing efficiency last season, 11 are gone. The 2004 group of quarterbacks lacks the star power of last season (Philip Rivers, Eli Manning, etc.), but it's a solid group.

1. JASON WHITE, Oklahoma, Sr. The senior is more concerned about collecting rings (Big 12 and national championship variety) than a second Heisman Trophy.

2. MATT LEINART, Southern Cal, Jr. Unknown a year ago, he stepped in for a Heisman Trophy winner and led the Trojans to a share of the 2003 national championship.

3. CHRIS LEAK, Florida, Soph. A QB savant, he took over as the starter four games into his freshman season and led the Gators to a come-from-behind victory at Kentucky.

4. DAVID GREENE, Georgia, Sr. A southpaw, Greene is an unflappable leader who always seems to make the right play at the right time.

5. TIMMY CHANG, Hawaii, Sr. He's on pace to become Division I-A's career leader in passing yardage.

Top RBs

All the backs on this list and in Division I-A are chasing North Texas' Patrick Cobbs, who led the nation in rushing last season, averaging 152.7 yards per game.

1. DARREN SPROLES, Kansas State, Sr. The nation's second-leading returning ground gainer, the undersized Sproles (he's 5-foot-7) has some observers comparing him to Barry Sanders.

2. CARNELL WILLIAMS, Auburn, Sr. Nicknamed "Cadillac," he'll be trying to avoid swapping paint with teammate Ronnie Brown in a crowded Tigers backfield.

3. ANTHONY DAVIS, Wisconsin, Sr. Another in a long line of productive Badgers running backs, the 5-8 Davis needs to avoid the ankle injuries that kept him under 1,000 yards last season.

4. T.A. MCLENDON, North Carolina State, Jr. A bruising runner with speed, McLendon has been slowed his first two seasons by nagging injuries.

5. WALTER REYES, Syracuse, Sr. After rushing for 1,347 yards, Reyes needs 1,678 yards to pass Joe Morris for the Syracuse career rushing title.

Top OL

Offensive linemen won't be as anonymous this season because new NCAA rules call for the referee to announce the culprit when penalties are called. However, don't expect to hear the names of these five players called very often.

1. JAMMAL BROWN, Oklahoma, T, Sr. Moved from defense to offense when he arrived in Norman, Brown has evolved into a force at tackle. He's equally adept at pass protection and run blocking.

2. BEN WILKERSON, LSU, C, Sr. A 6-foot-4, 295-pound senior, Wilkerson is the leader of an offensive line that is deep and talented.

3. ERIC WINSTON, Miami, T, Jr. A graduate of Midland Lee High School, Winston came to Miami as a tight end and served as a blocking back as a freshman. He was switched to offensive tackle last season.

4. SAM MAYES, Oklahoma State, G, Sr. Even at 350 pounds, this senior has quick feet and agility. He's a powerful run blocker for the Cowboys.

5. DAVID BAAS, Michigan, G, Sr. The 6-5, 305-pound senior mans the left guard spot for the Wolverines. He's made 26 consecutive starts.

Top CBs

Cornerbacks, it has been said, have to have short memories. No player wants to spend time remembering being beaten for a long touchdown in front of 80,000 spectators. These five cornerbacks can conjure up happy thoughts of shutting out receivers, breaking up passes and making interceptions.

1. COREY WEBSTER, LSU, Sr. A prototype lock-down corner, at 6-foot, 200 pounds, Webster has the size and speed to blanket any receiver. Webster might see some action as a third-down receiver.

2. MARLIN JACKSON, Michigan, Sr. He played out of position last season at safety, but for his senior season he's back at corner. He's a cover guy who can hit like a linebacker.

3. DARRENT WILLIAMS, Oklahoma State, Sr. He's arguably the best corner in the Big 12. His biggest asset is his speed.

4. ANTREL ROLLE, Miami (Fla.), Sr. He has the size (6-foot-1, 202 pounds), strength and speed to jam receivers at the line then run with them down the field. He will be a key to a retooled defense.

5. CEDRICK WILLIAMS, Kansas State, Sr. A starter who slowly improved last season, Williams needs to develop as a lock-down coverage man if the Wildcats are to defend their Big 12 title.

Top DL

With run-stuffing tackles or quarterback-consuming defensive ends, the best defenses in college football start up front. Teams such as Ohio State, LSU, Southern Cal, Georgia and Oklahoma have front fours that can hold their own. And those teams wind up winning a lot of games.

1. DAVID POLLACK, Georgia, DE, Sr. The 276-pounder plays more like an outside linebacker. Last season, he had 92 tackles, 7 1/2 sacks, 13 1/2 TFLs and 32 QB pressures. He has dropped some weight and might be quicker this season.

2. MARCUS SPEARS, LSU, DE, Sr. He's big (295 pounds) and athletic enough to drop into pass coverage. He can dominate a game.

3. SHAUN CODY, Southern Cal, DE, Sr. He was switched to tackle as a freshman. He moved back to end in the spring. He's versatile enough to be a run stopper and a pass rusher.

4. DAN CODY, Oklahoma, DE, Sr. He has overcome depression that caused him to miss most of the 2001 season.

5. MATT ROTH, Iowa, DE, Sr. The Hawkeyes have gradually upgraded their playmaking ability on defense. Roth has 22 sacks the past two seasons.

Top LBs

They're the search-and-destroy guys. Roaming and wreaking havoc from behind their defensive fronts, college linebackers can be game changers with a fumble-causing tackle, a drive-ending sack or an interception.

1. DERRICK JOHNSON, Texas, Sr. A consensus All-American, Johnson's decision to return for his senior season gives the Longhorns a playmaking big hitter who can roam the field.

2. MICHAEL BOLEY, Southern Miss, Sr. The Golden Eagles are perennially solid on defense, and Boley is one of the outstanding players the school has produced. He's a disruptive force.

3. KIRK MORRISON, San Diego State, Sr. The senior is helping the Aztecs restore their program. He is the best of eight starters returning from a unit that ranked eighth nationally in total defense.

4. A.J. HAWK, Ohio State, Jr. Aptly named for his position, the 6-foot-2 Hawk follows in the tradition of other outstanding Buckeyes LBs. Ohio State's defense was 10th nationally last season.

5. ABDUL HODGE, Iowa, Jr. A bit undersized (6-2, 232 pounds), he is adept at stopping the run, blitzing and pass coverage.

Top kickers

They stand around on the sidelines, sometimes wearing ball caps, waiting until they're needed. When these kickers and punters are needed, they usually respond with a clutch performance.

1. DUSTIN COLQUITT, Tennessee, P, Sr. Rarely can a punter change the game like Colquitt. The son and cousin of former Vols punters, he averages about 45 yards per kick.

2. JONATHAN NICHOLS, Mississippi, PK, Sr. Last year's Lou Groza Award winner as the nation's top kicker, Nichols made 25 of 29 field-goal attempts and was perfect on all 49 extra points.

3. BEN JONES, Purdue, PK, Jr. A transfer from Butler, Jones was a walk-on before earning a scholarship. He kicked a school-record 25 field goals last season.

4. TREY DICARLO, Oklahoma, PK, Jr. He is the odds-on favorite to succeed Nichols as the Groza winner. DiCarlo has made 66 consecutive PATs and was 19-of-22 on field-goal attempts in 2003.

5. TOM MALONE, Southern Cal, P, Jr. Would have led the nation in punting with his 49-yard average, but, because of the Trojans' dominant offense, he didn't have enough punts to qualify.

Top safeties

They're the last line of defense. They're asked to tackle like linebackers and cover like cornerbacks. And these five players have no trouble moving from one role to the other.

1. JAMAAL BRIMMER, Nevada-Las Vegas, Sr. Rebels coach John Robinson says the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Brimmer reminds him of former Southern Cal safety Ronnie Lott. 'Nuff said.

2. JOSH BULLOCKS, Nebraska, Jr. The 6-foot, 205-pounder is the Huskers' free safety (and his twin brother Daniel starts at strong safety). Josh Bullocks had 10 interceptions last season, the most in Division I-A.

3. ERNEST SHAZOR, Michigan, Sr. He has linebacker size (6-4, 226 pounds). As the Wolverines' free safety, he makes life miserable for opposing receivers.

4. DONNIE MCCLESKEY, California, Jr. An undersized (5-10, 195-pound) strong safety, McCleskey made a team-high 102 tackles last season. He excels because of his speed and textbook-like tackling skills.

5. DARNELL BING, Southern Cal, Soph. As a freshman starting for a team that won a share of the national title, Bing played like a veteran. He has great coverage range.

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Isn't Jones the kicker for Purdue that missed his kick in OT to lose the game against us? And that was after he shanked a 28-yarder in the third quarter. By the way, Nugent made all three attempts that weren't blocked (the 41-yarder near the end of regulation that was blocked wasn't his fault). I know which place kicker I'd want on my team...
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