Jan. 21, 2003
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame wide receiver Arnaz Battle headlines this year’s fifth annual Capital One’s College Football All-Star Challenge. Produced by Intersport, the event has become college football’s ultimate skills competition, matching the nation’s best players in the premier positions: quarterback, running back, and wide receiver. Taking place at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, the special will be broadcast by Fox Sports on Super Bowl Sunday, January 26 (12:30pm, ET).
Battle thrived in Notre Dame’s new west coast offense in 2002. The native of Shreveport, La., led the Irish with 58 receptions this season for 786 yards and finished third on Notre Dame’s all-time list for receptions in a single season. He became only the fifth player in Irish history to record at least 50 catches in a season with the last being Ken MacAfee (54) in 1977. His 10 catches in the Gator Bowl tied a career-high and set a Notre Dame record for receptions in a bowl game breaking the old mark of seven set by Tony Smith in the 1992 Sugar Bowl. Battle was selected as a 2002 team captain, earned the Westwood One/State Farm Student-Athlete of the Year Award and was named the Sportsman of the Year by the Independence Bowl Foundation.
Battle will be competing against some of the nation’s best college football players – including quarterbacks Rex Grossman of Florida and Brad Banks of Iowa. Grossman, the Associated Press Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2001, leaves Gainesville as the third most prolific passer in the school’s storied history. Banks, this year’s AP Player of the Year and Davey O’Brien Quarterback Award winner, was the most efficient signal-caller in the country. Banks led the Hawkeyes to an 11-2 record, throwing 25 touchdown passes with just four interceptions.
Another participant is Michigan State’s Charles Rogers. The 6-4, 205 pound Rogers, winner of the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s premier receiver, is considered one of the finest collegiate wide-outs over the last decade. Last fall he caught 68 passes for 13 touchdowns, recording record back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons. With 27 touchdown receptions in only two years of competition, Rogers is MSU’s all-time leader.
Virginia Tech All-America Lee Suggs, Washington State quarterback Jasson Gesser and Florida wide receiver Taylor Jacobs will also be taking part in this year’s Challenge.
Joining the All-Stars will be an all-star of a different breed–Montana’s Monte the Grizzly, named Capital One’s National Mascot of the Year. Monte will be strutting his stuff on the sidelines, demonstrating what it takes to be an All-American mascot.