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    Matt Leinart Named AP Player Of The Year
    Matt Leinart was named AP Player of the Year.
    Matt Leinart was named AP Player of the Year.

    Dec. 23, 2004

    Matt Leinart was named Associated Press Player of the Year.

    Leinart, who earlier this month won the Heisman Trophy and was the Walter Camp Player of the Year, has completed 66 percent of his passes for 2,990 yards and 28 touchdowns, guiding the top-ranked Trojans to an Orange Bowl matchup with No. 2 Oklahoma and last year's AP player of the year, Jason White.

    The AP player of the year voting was closer than this season's Heisman balloting, but the final order was similar. Leinart received 17 votes from a nationwide panel of 64 media members. White and his freshman teammate, Adrian Peterson, finished tied for second with 12 votes each.

    USC tailback Reggie Bush was fourth with 11 votes and Utah quarterback Alex Smith had nine votes. Texas tailback Cedric Benson received two votes and Louisville quarterback Stefan Lefors got one.

    Leinart is the fifth straight quarterback to win the AP award, following White, Iowa's Brad Banks, Florida's Rex Grossman and Oklahoma's Josh Heupel.

    The award was established in 1998, and Texas tailback Ricky Williams was the first to win it.