A Stampede Of Preseason Honors

Eight Longhorns are included in eight national preseason watch lists focusing on players expected to be the best at their position. And if the predictions hold true to form, several Texas players face their primary competition for individual honors among their own teammates.

Texas’ national award candidates are (in alphabetical order):

Sophomore RB Cedric Benson: Doak Walker Award (nation’s best running back)

The 2001 Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year was also the first freshman running back in UT history to rush for more than 1,000 yards (1,053). In seven starts, he also set freshman records for touchdowns (12) and carries (223).

"The bottom line on Cedric is that he’s productive," said senior RCB Rod Babers. "When he first reported last year, I expected a really big guy (Benson is 6’0", 205) but the biggest thing about Cedric is his vision. He sees the entire field. He always makes positive yardage; he hardly ever gets thrown for a loss. Cedric Benson helps us win games — period."

Senior OLT Robbie Doane: Outland trophy (nation’s outstanding interior lineman)

Senior ORG Derrick Dockery: Outland trophy (nation’s outstanding interior lineman); Lombardi Award (nation’s outstanding lineman)

Sophomore WLB Derrick Johnson: Butkus Award (nation’s outstanding linebacker); Nagurski Award (nation’s outstanding defensive player)

Sophomore PK Dusty Magnum: Lou Groza Award (nation’s best place-kicker)

Senior LDE Cory Redding: Lombardi Award (nation’s outstanding lineman); Nagurski Award (nation’s outstanding defensive player)

Senior QB Chris Simms: Davey O’Brien Award (nation’s outstanding QB)

"People like to hate on me, but they still put me on their lists," Simms laughed. "They say I stink but they still put me on their lists."

Junior SE Roy Williams: Biletnikoff Award (nation’s best receiver)

MOVIN' ON UP

I’m reading the current edition of Playboy, but I’m doing it for you. (Did you know that there are like, articles in this magazine?). It says here that Mack Brown is the sexiest coach in America. Actually, the way it’s phrased is that the good people at the Playboy mansion have tagged Brown as their preseason pick for NCAA National Coach of the Year. They’ve also listed Redding and Dockery as preseason All-Americans.

The Playboy philosophy this season includes Texas as its preseason choice to claim its fourth national title, but first since 1970. It is not the only publication released this past weekend picking Texas to win it all. The Sunday edition of The New York Times, featuring Brown and Simms as sports section cover boys, picked Texas to win the national championship.

Texas also jumped a spot to No. 3 in the latest AP (writers) poll released Monday, trailing only Miami and Oklahoma tied for the top spot. It represents Texas’ highest preseason ranking since 1983.


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