Alex Smith is a finalist for college football's top award.
Dec. 8, 2004
SALT LAKE CITY -
The Heisman Trophy Trust announced today that Utah quarterback Alex Smith is one of five finalists for the 70th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Award presented to the best college football player in the United States. The finalists are, in alphabetical order: Reggie Bush (USC), Matt Leinart (USC), Adrian Peterson (Oklahoma), Smith (Utah), and Jason White (Oklahoma). This is the first time in the history of the Heisman Memorial Trophy that teammates from two different schools are finalists.
The five finalists were selected from a group of 923 electors that consists of 52 former Heisman Trophy winners, 870 national media electors from six regions across the country and one collective fan vote resulting from a special promotion with American Suzuki Motor Corporation, the presenting sponsor of the Heisman Memorial Trophy.
The winner of the 70th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Award will be announced live on ESPN in a special presentation from the Hilton New York at 8:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, December 11.
The winner will be honored again on Monday, December 13, 2004 at the Awards Presentation Dinner at the Hilton New York.
Smith, who is 20-1 since becoming the starter at Utah three games into the 2003 season, has posted incredible numbers this season while leading Utah to an 11-0 record and a Tostitos Fiesta Bowl berth.
Smith has passed for 2,624 yards and 28 touchdowns, while completing 66-percent of his pass attempts. He has thrown just four interceptions and his 174.9 passing efficiency ranks second in the nation and is the best of the Heisman finalists. Also a fine runner, Smith rushed for 563 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 28 passing touchdowns ranks sixth in the nation, while his 10 rushing touchdowns ranks fourth among the Division I-A quarterbacks. With 38 total touchdowns, he stands No. 2 in the nation in points responsible for.
Smith is a coach on the field and frequently calls the plays in Utah's intricate spread offense. He makes reads on every play, which comes naturally to the first-team Academic All-American. Last week, Smith was named the ESPN The Magazine CoSIDA Football Academic All-American of the year. He graduated in two years with a degree in economics and the 20-year-old is now pursuing a master's degree in the same field.
Smith has garnered plenty of other awards en route to his nomination as a finalist for college football's most prestigious award. On Dec. 7, he was named The Sporting News Player of the Year. On Dec. 9, he will be honored as a Davey O'Brien finalist at the Home Depot Football Awards in Orlando, Fla. He has been named to the Cingular Wireless/ABC Sports and the Sports Illustrated.com All-America teams. He is a Walter Camp Foundation Player of the Year finalist. He was a unanimous first-team all-Mountain West selection and the MWC Offensive Player of the Year.