quarterback among four
Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge, Wisconsin running back P.J. Hill, California quarterback Nate Longshore, and Notre Dame running back Darius Walker have been selected by a panel of ESPN college football analysts as this week’s top candidates for Cingular All-America Player of the Week, based on their outstanding performances this weekend. The power to determine a winner now rests solely in the hands of the fans.
Fans can determine the winner by text messaging “VOTE” to “87654” on their wireless phone and casting their votes for the nominees.
Ainge completed 25 of 38 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns in the 13th-ranked Volunteers’ 51-33 win at No. 10 Georgia. Ainge, who also added a rushing touchdown in the game, helped Tennessee become just the second team to put up 50 points on the Bulldogs’ home field.
Hill rushed for 249 yards and one touchdown in the Badgers’ 41-9 thrashing of Northwestern. The freshman recorded his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the season.
Longshore passed for 189 yards and three touchdowns to lead the 16th-ranked Golden Bears to a 45-24 victory over 11th-ranked Oregon. Longshore, who also rushed for a score, led Cal to its fifth straight win.
Walker rushed for 153 yards and one touchdown and added 45 yards receiving to help the 12th-ranked Fighting Irish defeat Stanford, 31-10. Walker’s 153 yards were a season-high and he turned in his second straight 100-yard performance.
Fans have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday to submit their votes. The winner will be announced during ESPN’s Thursday night college football game between Virginia Tech and Boston College. Fans can vote as many times as they like, with each vote counting as one entry into a sweepstakes to win a trip to the 2007 BCS National Championship game. The Cingular All-America Player of the Week program will continue throughout the season, with the nominees being revealed each Sunday on the 9 a.m. ESPN SportsCenter and on the Web at www.espnallamerica.com.
Cingular customers can visit Cingular’s NCAA® Football Portal on their wireless handset to view video highlights of each week’s candidates, retrieve photos, check scoreboards, track their favorite teams and download school ringtones.
Rutgers running back Ray Rice, Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn and Michigan wide receiver Mario Manningham have won the Cingular All-America Player of the Week during the 2006 college football season.
In December, four finalists for the Cingular All-America Player of the Year award will be announced during a one-hour special on ABC Sports. Fans will then get a chance to say who the best player in the nation is by voting for the Cingular All-America Player of the Year up until the Bowl Championship Series. The selection process will culminate during the BCS National Championship game on FOX when the Cingular All-America Player of the Year will be presented.
Last year, University of Texas quarterback Vince Young was crowned as the Cingular All-America Player of the Year, beating out USC teammates Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart and University of Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn. He was the second Longhorn to claim the award, after running back Cedric Benson won the inaugural honor in 2004.
Ainge’s performance against the Bulldogs was also deemed the nation’s best by an offensive player by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.