Dec. 10, 2006
ATLANTA – Four nominees have been announced for the 2006 Cingular All-America Player of the Year, and only fan voting will determine the top college football player in the nation.
Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan, Rutgers running back Ray Rice and Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith have been selected as the four finalists for the Cingular All-America Player of the Year by a panel of ESPN college football analysts.
Fans can determine the winner by text messaging “VOTE” to “87654” on their wireless phone and casting their votes for the nominees. Fans who participated in the Player of the Week voting during the season will automatically receive a text message with the four candidates. This year’s winner will join former Texas quarterback Vince Young (2005) and former Texas running back Cedric Benson (2004) on the list of Cingular All-America Player of the Year award recipients.
Voting for the Cingular All-America Player of the Year is open until January 5 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). The selection process will culminate during the BCS National Championship game on FOX on January 8 when the Cingular All-America Player of the Year will be announced.
“We have a star-studded group of finalists for this year’s Cingular All-America Player of the Year,” said Tim McGhee, director of national sponsorships for Cingular Wireless. “College football fans will have a tough choice choosing among these outstanding players. What distinguishes this award is that the fans get to choose the winner – and Cingular is proud to provide the technology behind the voting.”
The credentials of the candidates are impressive, as they have led their teams to a combined record of 42-7 and have accounted for over 13,000 yards of total offense and 145 touchdowns in 2006. Below is a statistical overview of each player’s qualifications:
Brady Quinn – Senior – Quarterback – Notre Dame
A two-time winner of the Cingular All-America Player of the Week during the regular season, Quinn ranks third in the nation in touchdown passes (35). He has completed 274 of 432 pass attempts for 3,278 yards, averaging 273.2 yards per game and compiling a 151.59 pass efficiency rating. A finalist for the Cingular All-America Player of the Year for the second straight season, Quinn has led the Fighting Irish to a 10-2 record and a berth in the Sugar Bowl in 2006.
Colt Brennan – Junior – Quarterback – Hawaii
Brennan completed 373 of 515 passes for 4,990 yards and 53 touchdowns during the regular season, and is just one touchdown shy of tying the NCAA single season record. He leads the nation in touchdowns, passing efficiency (182.80), total offense (410.8 ypg) and completion percentage (72.1%), while ranking second in passing yards per game (383.8). Brennan, who was named the WAC Player of the Year after leading the Warriors to a 10-3 record, was nominated for Cingular All-America Player of the Week during week 10 of the 2006 season.
Ray Rice – Sophomore – Running Back – Rutgers
Rice rushed for 1,624 yards and 19 touchdowns while helping lead Rutgers to a 10-2 record, the Scarlet Knights’ second 10-win season in school history. Rice kicked off the 2006 season by winning the week one Cingular All-America Player of the Week after rushing for 201 yards and three touchdowns in a win at North Carolina. A first-team all-Big East selection, Rice ranks fourth in the nation in rushing (135.3 ypg) and sixth in scoring while averaging 5.2 yards per carry.
Troy Smith – Senior – Quarterback – Ohio State
Smith completed 67.0% percent of his passes for 2,507 yards and a school-record 30 touchdowns against just five interceptions to lead Ohio State to a perfect 12-0 record and berth in the BCS National Championship game. The 2006 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Smith has ranks fourth in the nation in passing efficiency (167.87) and fifth in touchdowns. He has complied a 25-2 career record as a starter and is the Big Ten career leader in passing efficiency. He was named Cingular All-America Player of the Week following the top-ranked Buckeyes’ 42-39 win over No. 2 Michigan.
Cingular customers can visit Cingular’s NCAA® Football Portal on their wireless handset to view video highlights of the candidates, retrieve photos, check scoreboards, track their favorite teams and download school ringtones. Additional information on the Player of the Year candidates can be found on the Web at espnallamerica.com.
Joining Quinn, Rice and Smith on the Cingular All-America Player of the Week winners’ list this season were Michigan wide receiver Mario Manningham, Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson, Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, BYU quarterback John Beck, Arkansas running back Darren McFadden and Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman.