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Leinert staying in school

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by dbair1967, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. dbair1967

    dbair1967 Arch Defender

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    Leinart says he wants to return to USC
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    Ralph D. Russo / Associated Press
    Posted: 1 hour ago



    Matt Leinart owns a Heisman Trophy and a national title - and he's got a shot at another championship coming up in less than a month.

    Photo galleries ...
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    Heisman finalists



    More ...
    • Ranking the previous Heisman winners

    The Southern California quarterback is likely to be a high first-round NFL draft choice in April if he decides to skip his senior season.

    It would seem as though Leinart must be a lock to go pro, right? No so fast: He's been saying since last year he wants to use all of his college eligibility. And moments after clutching the Heisman, he hadn't changed his tune.

    "That's a question I get asked a lot," the fourth-year junior said Saturday night after becoming the Trojans' sixth Heisman winner. "But I'm sticking to my word that I still intend to return for my fifth year.

    "I'm aware of the opportunity; we'll see what happens."

    Leinart won what was thought to be a close race most of the season rather handily. The 6-foot-5 left-hander received 1,325 points and won all but one of the six voting regions. He finished third in the Southwest behind Oklahoma teammates Adrian Peterson and Jason White.

    The close race was for second, where Peterson edged White 997-957. White, last year's winner, was trying to join Ohio State's Archie Griffin as the only two-time winners of college football's biggest individual prize.

    "They're both No. 1 in my eyes," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said.

    Leinart and the top-ranked Trojans will face White, Peterson and the Sooners in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 4 in the first matchup of players with Heisman trophies.

    White said Griffin, who won the Heisman in 1974-75, tracked him down after the presentation ceremony.

    "He said ... 'Wish you could have joined me,"' White said.

    "I think he might have a guy coming up who might join him," White added, referring to Peterson.

    The 210-pound tailback set a new Heisman standard for freshmen: He was the first to finish higher than third in the voting. Peterson's point total was also a freshman record, besting Georgia tailback Herschel Walker's 683 in 1980.

    Peterson's freshman season will go down as one of the best in college football history. He has rushed for 1,843 yards and 15 touchdowns with a freshman-record 11 100-yard games. He's only 20 yards from breaking the NCAA's season rushing record for freshmen, set by Wisconsin's Ron Dayne in 1996.

    Utah quarterback Alex Smith was fourth, and USC tailback Reggie Bush was fifth.

    Smith is a junior, and Bush is a sophomore, so it's possible four of the five Heisman finalists could be playing college football next season. Leinart will undoubtedly enter next season as a Heisman favorite if he's back, but Peterson and Bush will also have plenty of momentum.

    Bush has scored 15 touchdowns and provided some of the most dazzling plays of the season as a do-it-all tailback for USC.

    Leinart became USC's second Heisman winner in three years; Carson Palmer won it in 2002 and now plays quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals. The Trojans had four Heisman-winning tailbacks from 1965-81 - starting with Mike Garrett, now the Trojans' athletic director, followed by O.J. Simpson in '68, Charles White in '79 and Marcus Allen.

    "I told (Bush), 'You'll be standing up there next season,' and he said, 'I know,"' Garrett said.
  2. Rack Bauer

    Rack Bauer Federal Agent

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    I never believe when an athlete says that until after the deadline to apply for the draft has passed. A lot of agents/coaches/GMs will find ways to get in touch with him and tempt him with the almight dollar. We'll see if he really wants to stay in school.
  3. Tio

    Tio Armchair QB

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    His stock isn't gonna get much higher. He now runs the risk of getting hurt before getting paid.
  4. dbair1967

    dbair1967 Arch Defender

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    the thing is where he is going really isnt in question, he knows he's likely gonna be one of the first players (if not he first player) picked and already knows about what money would come with that, its not like he's a borderline 1st or 2nd rd propsect...sounds like he is really sincere about staying at USC to me, I think he had even said that before the season started too...

    David
  5. zagnut

    zagnut New Member

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    Trophy Hog.

    I would think being pretty much assured of playing in either San Francisco or Miami would be pretty nice too. Wait til 2006 Matt and you could be looking at Cleveland.

    Cleveland.
    Miami.
    Cleveland.
    Miami.
    Cleveland.
    Miami.

    Decisions, decisions.
  6. Roughneck

    Roughneck Active Member

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    Enter in former Texas Hoops stud TJ Ford who told anyone who would listen during his Sophomore year that he was coming back. All season long he said that he would be returning for his Junior year. Texas gets to the Final Four and TJ bolts for the Association. I'm not saying it was a bad move (he definitely got his money). Just that I agree with Rack on the point to not write it in stone when the deadline is still so far away. Especially if the Player, right after saying this:
    Says this:
  7. VThokie7

    VThokie7 Well-Known Member

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    I believe hes being sincere about staying now, but when push comes to shove I can't imagine him sticking around for his senior season. If USC wins the National Championship what would be his purpose for staying? He will have then won 2 national championships and won the Heisman trophy, not to mention being a top 3 prospect. There would be little reason for him to stick around.
  8. Rack Bauer

    Rack Bauer Federal Agent

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    He's sticking to his word that he intends to come back. That right there tells me he seriously considering leaving for the NFL.

    It wouldn't be a bad move. The 9ers would likely have the #1 pick and he'd likely get drafted by them. He wouldn't have to leave Cali.
  9. ghst187

    ghst187 Well-Known Member

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    i think that once Leinert finds out he will be taken within the first 3 picks he will reconsider. The 49ers may take him #1 overall and that has to be too tempting considering the possibility of an injury and whatnot if he goes back to college.

    If he does go back to college, that may change the entire face of the draft. One of the top teams will probably try to trade out of their spot to get more picks. Rogers becomes the #1 Qb prospect but I doubt he'll go #1 overall. Leinert could definitely change the next draft for a lot of teams.
  10. InmanRoshi

    InmanRoshi Zone Scribe

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    Eli said he was going back to Ole' Miss at this point last year.
  11. Kevlee06

    Kevlee06 New Member

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    Now if I was a backup QB at USC I'd be tellin Matt to take his butt to the NFL. They've got two highly touted QB's there already (John Booty and Rocky Hinds) and another top 5 high school recruit coming in (Mark Sanchez). Thats one less year they'll have to showcase their talents for the NFL.

    Personally I dont think he's coming back. Their QB position is in good hands and I dont think any coaches will be begging him to stay. If he stays (which would be five years in school) I think he'd be crazy.
  12. wick

    wick Active Member

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    That's a poor example. Ford only declared because of his neck condition/injury. He was afraid he'd be hurt again in college and never make a dime in the NBA. As it turns out, his decision was a smart one. He has since reinjured his neck, and it's unclear whether he'll be able to play again. As far as I know, none of the dynamics involved in Ford's decision apply to Leinart's.

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