Dec 15, 2003
NEW YORK (AP) – When it comes to All-Americans, Oklahoma is this year’s undisputed No. 1.
The Iowa Hawkeyes — with All-Americans Robert Gallery and Nate Kaeding — joined Oklahoma, USC and Miami as the only teams with two or more first-team honorees. Bob Sanders, Iowa’s hard-hitting safety, was named to the second team.
Gallery, the anchor in Iowa’s offensive line, was named to the elite squad after claiming the Outland Trophy last week. Kaeding, Iowa’s oustanding placekicker and team leader, earned his spot on the AP list after finishing second in the balloting for this year’s Lou Groza Award, an honor he claimed last year. Sanders led the Big Ten with six forced fumbles.
It marked the second consecutive year that two members of Coach Kirk Ferentz’s Iowa football program had earned AP All-America honors. Tight end Dallas Clark and offensive lineman Eric Steinbach were named to the team last year when Iowa advanced to the FedEx Orange Bowl
Iowa, winners of 20 of its last 25 games, will play Florida in the 2004 Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 in Tampa. The game marks the first time in UI football history that the Hawkeyes have advanced to back-to-back January bowl games.
Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jason White was among a record-tying five Sooners on The Associated Press All-America team announced Monday. Defensive lineman Tommie Harris, linebacker Teddy Lehman, cornerback Derrick Strait and all-purpose player Antonio Perkins also represented Oklahoma, which equaled the record set by Army in 1945 and matched by the Sooners in 1987.
No. 1 Southern California finished third in the BCS standings and will play No. 4 Michigan in the Rose Bowl. If the Trojans win, there could be a split national title, with USC winning the AP poll and the Sugar Bowl winner taking the coaches’ poll.
USC was second with three All-Americans – receiver Mike Williams (87 catches, 1,226 yards, 16 TDs), offensive lineman Jacob Rogers and defensive lineman Kenechi Udeze.
LSU was represented by defensive lineman Chad Lavalais.
White led the nation in passing efficiency, completing 64 percent of his passes for 3,744 yards, 40 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. He won the Heisman Trophy and the AP Player of the Year award.
Heisman finalist Eli Manning of Mississippi was the second-team pick at quarterback, and Ben Roethlisberger of Miami of Ohio was the third-team selection.
The two other Heisman finalists were first-teamers.
Pittsburgh receiver Larry Fitzgerald was picked after catching 87 passes for 1,595 yards and 22 touchdowns, while Michigan’s Chris Perry earned his spot for gaining 1,955 yards from scrimmage and scoring 19 touchdowns.
Kansas State’s Darren Sproles was the other first-team running back after gaining 1,948 yards on the ground.
There were three repeat selections – Harris, Lehman and Arkansas tackle Shawn Andrews.
The other offensive picks were Virginia Tech center Jake Grove and Florida State tackle Alex Barron. UCLA lineman David Ball headlined the defensive picks after leading the nation with 16? sacks.
Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson, West Virginia linebacker Grant Wiley, Ohio State safety Will Allen and Florida cornerback Keiwan Ratliff were the other defenders.
Tennessee’s Dustin Colquitt was the All-American punter.
There are 13 seniors, 10 juniors and two sophomores on the first team.
The Big 12 led all conferences with seven first-team All-Americans, followed by the Big East with five, and the Big Ten, Pac-10 and SEC with four apiece.
The All-America team was selected by the following sports writers:
Lee Barfknecht, Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald; Herb Gould, Chicago Sun-Times; Craig Hill, Tacoma (Wash.) News-Tribune; Lenn Robbins (New York Post); Keith Whitmire (Dallas Morning News); Greg Beacham (AP San Francisco); Stephen Hawkins (AP Dallas); Mark Long (AP Miami); Rusty Miller (AP Columbus, Ohio); Paul Newberry (AP Atlanta); and Josh Dubow (AP national college football writer).