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State of Florida quarterbacks head 2002 Heisman Trophy watch list

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Rex Grossman
(QB, Florida, Jr.)
Grossman throws the ball deeper with more accuracy than anyone in the nation. However, he will have to adjust to life without Steve Spurrier. If Grossman can beat Miami and Tennessee, the Heisman is his. If he struggles, it proves Spurrier’s system was the reason for his success.

Ken Dorsey
(QB, Miami, Sr.)
Dorsey is the most intelligent quarterback in college football. He must prove he can succeed with an inexperienced offensive line that will give up more sacks than last season. Dorsey is 26-1 as a starter and can take the Heisman home if he leads Miami to victories in statement games against Florida, FSU, and Tennessee.

Byron Leftwich
(QB, Marshall, Sr.)
Will put up huge numbers against sub par MAC opponents. Prior Marshall players Chad Pennington and Randy Moss went to New York City, but came home empty handed. Leftwich will need to win at Virginia Tech on Sept. 12 for any chance whatsoever, or it will be 0-for-3 for Marshall Heisman hopefuls.

Hopefuls
Jason Gesser
(QB, Washington, Sr.)
Led Wash. St. to 10-2 record last season behind a strong and very accurate arm. Will lead a spread out offense that calls for plenty of deep passing plays that will pad his stats. Statement game against Ohio State on Sept. 14 should make him known. An undefeated season is very possible.

Chris Simms
(QB, Texas, Sr.)
Texas coach Mack Brown will allow Simms to throw often to the best receivers in the country. Simms can finally put the Major Applewhite situation behind him, but he must lead the Longhorns to nothing less than a National Title for Longhorn fans to accept him. Simms has to put up huge numbers and prove himself for reasons other than his famous father.

Onterrio Smith
(RB, Oregon, Jr.)
Smith will get a boatload of carries that will assure him amazing numbers. However, playing on the west coast will hurt his name recognition, and the Ducks may have to go undefeated for him to earn a trip to New York.

Sleepers
Dave Ragone
(QB, Louisville, Sr.)
Ragone is not known around the country. He is a big quarterback who throws well on the run. Schedule is not too tough but will probably have to beat FSU at home on Sept. 26 for a chance to win the hardware.

Chris Rix
(QB, Florida State, Soph.)
Rix compiled 3,123 yards of total offense as a freshman last season. He returns with a much-improved team, including an outstanding offensive line and speedy wide receivers. Rix’s performance against Miami and Florida will control his fate.

Casey Clausen
(QB, Tennessee, Jr.)
Doesn’t have great arm strength but will throw to an amazing target in wideout Kelly Washington and will have plenty of time behind a solid offensive line. It will be hard to ignore him if the Vols beat Florida and Miami.
The Rest
Eli Manning (QB, Ole Miss, Jr.), Chris Brown (RB, Colorado, Jr.), Lee Suggs (RB, Virginia Tech, Sr.), Charles Rogers (WR, Michigan State, Soph), EJ Henderson (LB, Maryland, Sr.), Cedric Benson (RB, Texas, Soph).

August 30, 2002

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.