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Archive for Friday, December 3, 2004

Walker considering freshman for Heisman

December 3, 2004

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— Like many Heisman Trophy voters, Herschel Walker is waiting until after this weekend to fill out his ballot.

But the 1982 Heisman winner already has decided one thing: He couldn't care less that Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson is a freshman.

"This is for who you think is the best this year, not who has played the longest," Walker said. "Adrian Peterson is as qualified as anyone else."

Walker, Peterson and the Heisman have been discussed together quite often this fall because Peterson is having the biggest impact as a freshman since Walker burst onto the scene in 1980.

As great as Walker was that fall, he finished only third in the Heisman voting. No freshman -- heck, not even a sophomore -- has won it, in part because of the argument that underclassmen haven't paid their dues yet.

"What does dues-paying have to do with winning the Heisman Trophy?" Walker asked. "It's not for what you did two or three years ago, it's for what you did this year. You're on the same field as the older guys, so why in the world should you not be able to win it just because you're young?"

Peterson and several other top Heisman challengers have one last chance Saturday to try swaying the 923 voters, including Walker and the other 51 living winners. The top three picks are due Wednesday afternoon, and the big announcement comes three nights later.

Walker has narrowed his choices to Peterson and his OU teammate, senior quarterback Jason White, last year's Heisman winner; Southern Cal junior quarterback Matt Leinart and sophomore running back Reggie Bush; and Texas senior running back Cedric Benson.

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