Move Those Chains - Live from NYC

With three bronze statues in four years, the USC athletic department may want to think about changing the name of Heritage Hall to "Heisman Headquarters." Either that, or a nickname change to the USC Trophies.

Matt Leinart was the first nominee to take the podium for the press conference, looking like he was ready to talk to friends at a barbecue rather than face the media surrounded with college football's most prestigious award ceremony. After listening to him answer questions, it's so easy to see how he stays so cool under pressure. He started by talking about how neither he nor Reggie really likes the attention that comes with being a superstar, but they realize that it comes with being successful and they enjoy representing the team.

Someone asked a question about whether or not Matt would have liked to win the Trophy twice and Leinart responded by saying that it would have been a great honor to have won it twice, but that's not really why he came back to school. He mentioned that he pushed for Reggie a little bit last year and all of this year and he knows that Reggie deserves it. He mentioned how excited the coaching staff and the team back home would be about this because Reggie is such a great guy and he works extremely hard.

He went on to say that he was incredibly nervous during last year's Heisman presentation compared to this year's. Leinart wasn't at all nervous this year, watching his teammate go ahead and win the trophy, and having a lot more fun with the whole thing. He was confident about coming in third place this year and he just wanted to be able to go up on stage.

Leinart talked about how he was very touched when Reggie mentioned the team and Leinart specifically during his acceptance speech, and finished his interview by saying that they've got one more game together and they're going to strap it on and hopefully get one more victory.

Vince Young took the stage after Leinart and was extremely disappointed with the results of the voting. Young took the loss hard and mentioned numerous times about how he felt he let his teammates down, his family down, and the entire city of Austin down. He had a few kind words for Bush and Leinart, but was very subdued throughout his entire conference.

He did mention that this could provide a little more of a spark for his performance in the Rose Bowl, but he also said that his Texas team would be ready for that game no matter what.

In winning the 2005 Heisman Trophy, Reggie Bush received the highest percentage of 1st place votes ever, with 84.9%. He broke another record by receiving 91.7% of the maximum possible votes. His 2,541 total points rank as the second most in history, behind fellow Trojan O.J. Simpson. He also fell slightly behind Simpson in terms of the most first place votes ever, picking up 784, and in terms of margin of victory, beating Vince Young by 933 points. With hot hotly contested this race was for most of the year, and landslide victory could come as a shock to some, but for Trojan fans, when it comes to Reggie Bush, nothing is shocking anymore.

In the press conference following the award ceremony, Bush was calm, collected and determined, just as he is on the field.

He said that this year he really put the extra effort into competing. He mentioned again his workouts with San Diego Charger running back LaDanian Tomlinson, and how much that helped him understand what it takes to be the best running back in the NFL, and even at the collegiate level.

Bush spoke glowingly of fellow Trojan Matt Leinart as well, reiterating his previous comment about how Leinart's decision to return for his senior season changed his (Bush's) life and really showed him what type of person the lefty quarterback is.

Reggie talked about how he prepared and prepared for his speech, committing it to memory and reciting it over and over, but was unable to remember half of it upon winning the award. Everything he said just came from the heart.

When questions about the NFL came up, Bush reverted to another tactic he employs between the sidelines: elusiveness. He answered the questions as straightforward as possible without giving a yes or no answer, saying that he still doesn't know about taking his game pro. Winning the Heisman Trophy will have no impact on his decision. A decision that Bush says will wait until after the National Championship game against Texas. Bush went on to say that he is trying to put of even thinking about that decision and he is trying to narrow his focus on helping the Trojans prepare to take on the Longhorns.

But Bush also answered questions from the New York media about a possible career with the New York Jets. Bush said that he would love to play in New York because he loves the whole east coast atmosphere. While most people consider it a forgone conclusion that Bush will be playing his last game as a Trojan on January 4th, there are a lot of factors that could keep Bush in cardinal and gold.

Both Bush and Leinart stayed after the press conference, doing television interviews while Bush did his mandatory photo op. It was obvious that both of these Trojans, although shy and somewhat reserved, are growing very used to the limelight. They were both able to soak up every minute of the proceedings while staying humble and interesting. With the amount of media coverage the Trojans are getting these days, it would be tough to ask for a better duo of dignitaries.

Click here to read McKinney preview of Heisman ceremony from NYC

Click here for a photo gallery of announcement


USCFootball.com Top Stories