Archie Griffin wouldn't mind sharing his claim to fame. The former Ohio State tailback is the only player to win the Heisman Trophy twice, receiving his second in 1975. Oklahoma senior quarterback Jason...
NEW YORK Archie Griffin wouldn’t mind sharing his claim to fame.
The former Ohio State tailback is the only player to win the Heisman Trophy twice, receiving his second in 1975.
Oklahoma senior quarterback Jason White has a chance to equal Griffin’s feat today when the sport’s most prestigious individual award is handed out in New York.
“I have been one who has always said that someone else is going to do that,” said Griffin, who is president of the Ohio State alumni association. “It has surprised me that it has taken so long, to be totally honest with you.”
As a former Heisman winner, Griffin has a vote. He wouldn’t say who it went to, though he might have provided a hint.
“I expect it to happen,” he said. “And I’m not going to be upset if that happens. In fact, I’ll be awfully proud of Jason.”
White is the third player to return to college football the year after winning a Heisman since Griffin won back to back.
Oklahoma tailback Billy Sims won the 1978 Heisman as a junior, but finished a distant second to USC’s Charles White as a senior. Brigham Young quarterback Ty Detmer finished third in 1991 after winning as a junior the year before.
White is one of five finalists in what is expected to be a close vote. Oklahoma freshman tailback Adrian Peterson, USC’s Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush and Utah quarterback Alex Smith are the others. Smith was born in Seattle.
The quality of the field might be best illustrated by the players who didn’t get invited to New York.
Texas running back Cedric Benson, Cal teammates J.J. Arrington and Aaron Rodgers and Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell all would be reasonable first choices.
In Griffin’s first Heisman season, he had 1,695 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns to lead the Buckeyes to a share of the Big Ten title. He won the Heisman over USC tailback Anthony Davis.
The next year was much tougher. Many of the players around Griffin had changed and defenses were fired up to stop the Heisman winner.
“You’re a marked man once you win the award,” he said. “You do get a lot of attention. When guys tackle you, they put a little more emphasis on the tackle.
“You’d hear them say, ‘Hey, Heisman Trophy winner, how about this one?’ Pow!”
Texas’ Derrick Johnson won the Butkus Award as the nation’s best linebacker.
Senior quarterback Chad Friehauf of Colorado School of Mines won the Harlon Hill Trophy as the Division II player of the year.
California sophomore receiver David Gray, 20, was arrested on weapons charges stemming from a fight outside a nightclub.
Gray faces a felony charge of tampering with identification marks on a firearm, and also was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a loaded firearm in a public place, both misdemeanors. He was released on a $30,000 bond.
Gray, hobbled by a foot injury, has one reception for 24 yards this season.
Pittsburgh coach Walt Harris interviewed at Stanford for the school’s coaching vacancy.
Harris met with Cardinal athletic director Ted Leland two days after USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow visited to interview for the job.
Greg Mattison, Notre Dame defensive line coach, is leaving to join new Florida coach Urban Meyer. Mattison was hired as the Gators’ co-defensive coordinator; he will share the coordinator’s job with Charlie Strong.
Notre Dame mishandled the firing of Tyrone Willingham as coach and is not doing a good job in its search for his replacement, said Dave Duerson, a board of trustees member.
Duerson, a former defensive back for the Fighting Irish and the NFL Chicago Bears, told Chicago radio station WSCR-AM that trustees were not consulted but should have been before Willingham was fired Nov. 30 after the Irish went 21-15 in his three seasons as coach.
“As we all see, it’s left quite a black eye on the university,” Duerson said. “It should have involved the entire board. We should have at least been involved in the discussion instead of the blindsided nature in which it was handled.”