Football Writers Association of America Jan. 4, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mike Griffith
2003 squad features 13 true freshmen

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (FWAA) A pair of LSU teammates who led the Tigers to the BCS national championship top the third annual Scripps/FWAA Freshman All-America Team.

Tailback Justin Vincent, who was the most valuable player in LSU's 21-14 win over Oklahoma in the 2004 Nokia Sugar Bowl, and safety LaRon Landry, who picked off a pass in the Tigers' 34-13 romp over Georgia in the SEC title game, are two of the six SEC selections on this year's squad. Florida provided three of those players from the SEC in quarterback Chris Leak, defensive lineman Ray McDonald and linebacker Channing Crowder.

Another pair of teammates on the Scripps/FWAA team, Southern California's Reggie Bush and Darnell Bing, vaulted their team to a 12-1 record, the Pac-10 title and the Rose Bowl championship as well as the school's fifth Grantland Rice national championship trophy. The multi-talented Bush made was chosen as the kick return specialist, while Bing's consistency at safety helped anchor the Trojans' stellar defense.

The 27-member Scripps/FWAA team was selected by an 11-man committee representing each of the NCAA's Division I-A football conferences.

More than 70 players were nominated and evaluated by the committee. The vote took place following the respective conference championship games and before the bowl games. Thirteen of the 27 players selected are true freshmen, including eight on defense.

Tulsa's Steve Kragthorpe was named the first-year coach of the year after leading the Hurricane to an 8-5 record and its first bowl appearance in 12 years. Kragthorpe, who took over a team that finished 1-11 in 2002, is also a finalist for the FWAA's Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year.

The representatives who selected the 2003 team as follows: Bob Thomas, Florida Times-Union (ACC); Chip Scoggins, Minneapolis Star-Tribune (Big Ten); Doug Smock, Charleston Gazette (MAC); Mark Anderson, Las Vegas Review-Journal (MWC); Mike Griffith, Knoxville News Sentinel (SEC), Ted Miller, Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Pac-10); Paul Letlow, The Monroe News-Star (Sun Belt) Adam Thompson, Denver Post (Big 12); Marek Warszawski, Fresno Bee (WAC); Ron Higgins, The Commercial Appeal (Conference USA); and Michael Vega, Boston Globe (Big East).

Pos. Player, School Ht. Wt. Hometown
QB Chris Leak, Florida 6-1 205 Charlotte, N.C.
RB Laurence Maroney, Minnesota 5-11 200 St. Louis, Mo.
RB Robert Merrill, TCU 5-10 190 San Antonio, Texas
RB Justin Vincent, LSU 5-11 208 Lake Charles, La.
WR Steve Breaston, Michigan 6-1 176 North Braddock, Pa.
WR Steve Odom, Toledo 5-10 165 Columbus, Ohio
C Kyle Young, Fresno State 6-5 320 Fallbrook, Calif.
OL Justin Blalock, Texas 6-4 330 Plano, Texas
OL Leroy Harris, N.C. State 6-3 285 Raleigh, N.C.
OL Samson Satele, Hawaii 6-3 289 Kaneohe, Hawaii
OL Robert Turner, New Mexico 6-3 320 Austin, Texas
Pos. Player, School Ht. Wt. Hometown
DL Jason Berryman, Iowa State 6-2 230 Houston, Texas
DL Ray McDonald, Florida 6-3 252 Belle Glade, Fla.
DL Brian Smith, Missouri 6-3 220 Denton, Texas
DL Mario Williams, N.C. State 6-7 254 Richlands, N.C.
LB Ahmad Brooks, Virginia 6-4 249 Woodbridge, Va.
LB Nick Bunting, Tulsa 6-1 205 Tulsa, Okla.
LB Channing Crowder, Florida 6-2 236 Atlanta, Ga.
DB Darnell Bing, Southern California 6-2 220 Lakewood, Calif.
DB Brandon Browner, Oregon State 6-4 194 Sylmar, Calif.
DB LaRon Landry, LSU 6-1 180 Ama, La.
DB Eric Weddle, Utah 5-11 185 Alta Loma, Calif.
Pos. Player, School Ht. Wt. Hometown
K James Wilhoit, Tennessee 5-10 190 Hendersonville, Tenn.
P Brandon Fields, Michigan State 6-5 219 Toledo, Ohio
KR Reggie Bush, Southern California 6-0 190 Spring Valley, Calif.
PR Ryne Robinson, Miami (Ohio) 5-10 169 Toledo, Ohio
AP Willie Idlette, Wake Forest 5-11 169 Chattanooga, Tenn.
  Steve Kragthorpe, Tulsa
Denotes true freshman; AP: All-purpose player

All-Time FWAA Freshman All-America Teams
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