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Thread: Leinart staying at USC for senior season

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  1. #1
    C-A-T-S CATS! CATS! CATS! WVRed's Avatar
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    Leinart staying at USC for senior season

    Is this the first time a sure bet no 1 pick turned down the NFL?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/news;_...ov=ap&type=lgn

    Heisman winner Leinart staying at USC

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Matt Leinart passed on the NFL for a chance to make history at Southern California -- and to remain a college kid for another year.

    The Heisman Trophy winner will return to USC for his senior season and try to lead the Trojans to an unprecedented third straight national championship.

    ``I went with my gut. I went with my heart,'' the quarterback said.

    Leinart opted to complete his eligibility rather than enter the NFL draft, where he figured to be one of the top selections in April and become an instant millionaire.

    Instead, he'll have a chance to become just the second two-time Heisman winner.

    Mostly, though, Leinart was just having too much fun to leave.

    ``I realized the opportunity right now to support my family by going to the NFL early, but to me I think college football and this whole atmosphere here and being with my friends and my teammates ... is ultimately more satisfying and will make me happier than any amount of money could make someone happy,'' he said.

    There was a roar of approval from a crowd of about 500 students and fans jammed into the foyer at Heritage Hall to hear Leinart's decision.

    ``OK, so I'm smiling,'' a beaming coach Pete Carroll said after Leinart's announcement.

    ``I don't think it was too difficult a decision -- to make millions of dollars or be one of the best college football players of all time,'' All-American defensive tackle Shaun Cody said. ``You can't go wrong either way.''

    Leinart has made clear for months his desire to stay in school. He said last August he would definitely return because he loved playing for the Trojans, he needed to get stronger physically and make other improvements.

    More recently, he said he was leaning toward returning, but would investigate his options.

    In the end, Leinart decided the risk of serious injury or a sub-par performance next season was worth it.

    Leinart consulted coaches, friends, teammates, NFL quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Ben Roethlisberger and his parents. The 21-year-old left-hander said he didn't come to a final decision until Friday.

    A 6-foot-5, 225-pounder, Leinart was a third-year sophomore who hadn't thrown a pass for the Trojans when he succeeded Palmer, another Heisman Trophy winner, as USC's starting quarterback 16 1/2 months ago.


    AP - Jan 14, 6:58 pm EST
    More Photos


    The Trojans have a 25-1 record with Leinart at the controls -- including 13-0 this season. He capped the year by passing for 332 yards and an Orange Bowl-record five touchdowns in USC's resounding 55-19 victory over Oklahoma on Jan. 4.

    Leinart's 6,878 career passing yards rank fourth on the school's career list, and his 71 TD passes rank second -- one behind Palmer.

    All that in just 26 games.

    Two other USC juniors, linebacker Lofa Tatupu and punter Tom Malone, also announced decisions on their futures. Tatupu said he is making himself eligible for the NFL draft, while Malone said he will return to USC.

    By staying in school, Leinart could join Ohio State running back Archie Griffin as the only two-time Heisman winners. Griffin did it in 1974-75.

    He also becomes the second straight Heisman winner to play another year of college football. Oklahoma's Jason White won the award in 2003, then finished third in the 2004 Heisman balloting.

    What Leinart gives up by staying in school is a heap of money.

    ``I get $950 a month,'' Leinart said, referring to his stipend and drawing laughs from the assembled media at Heritage Hall. ``Come on, $950 a month, we've got a training table, we've got food.

    ``The money is not important to me. I realize the opportunities. ... My teammates and being here is more important to me right now.''

    Leinart passed for 3,556 yards and 38 touchdowns with nine interceptions in his first season as the starter, no doubt helped by the presence of talented and experienced wide receivers Mike Williams and Keary Colbert.

    As a fourth-year junior this season, throwing to a corps of young, inexperienced wideouts, Leinart passed for 3,322 yards and 33 TDs with six interceptions.

    Leinart's return means John David Booty, a former Louisiana prep standout who will be a third-year sophomore next season, will be relegated to No. 2 on the depth chart.

    Booty is considered a better prospect now than Leinart was when he took over.

    The Trojans will have two other highly regarded quarterbacks on the roster next fall in Rocky Hinds, a freshman who redshirted this season, and Mark Sanchez, who will be a freshman. Sanchez, a senior at Mission Viejo, Calif., High who has committed to USC, is considered one of the best prep quarterbacks in the country.

    Even without Leinart, USC figured to enter next season No. 1. With Leinart, the Trojans will be a heavy favorite to win a third straight national title.

    USC will bring a 22-game winning streak into next season -- longest in the country.

    What more could a guy from Santa Ana, Calif., ask for?

    ``This is the greatest time of my life, being in L.A. I'm close to home,'' Leinart said. ``My family, my friends, everyone's here. I think that alone is enough motivation for me to come back.''
    Quote Originally Posted by savafan View Post
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  2. #2
    Team Puffy Leadoff Hitter CbusRed's Avatar
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    Re: Leinart staying at USC for senior season

    I love this. I think it is great for the college game. Seems like everyone in the media and such was trying to push him into the NFL. Let the kid do what he wants.

    Of course, this just means that USC will be unstoppable again next year, which I dont really like, But I am a Matt Leinart "the person" fan for sure now.

  3. #3
    Member Oxilon's Avatar
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    Re: Leinart staying at USC for senior season

    What a terrible decision. What could he have done to raise his stock? What more can he accomplish in the NCAA?

    Nothing.

    He can only hurt his stock, and being as fast paced and physicaly as it is, there's a chance that might happen. Terrible decision.
    Last edited by Oxilon; 01-14-2005 at 11:28 PM.
    That hit was plenty fair. Atleast by a quarter of an inch.
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  4. #4
    Team Puffy Leadoff Hitter CbusRed's Avatar
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    Re: Leinart staying at USC for senior season

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxilon
    What a terrible decision?

    I think its a refreshing decision.
    Staying and getting an education? Sounds good to me!

  5. #5
    Member Oxilon's Avatar
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    Re: Leinart staying at USC for senior season

    Quote Originally Posted by CbusRed
    I think its a refreshing decision.
    Staying and getting an education? Sounds good to me!
    No, it'd be refreshing if he were a NBA high school prospect going to the NCAA rather the NBA. But what's Leinart going to do at college this season? Get an education? As if he'd use that in his future. The guy is going to be a #1 pick in the NFL. He could be dumber than coke addict and still make millions regardless.
    That hit was plenty fair. Atleast by a quarter of an inch.
    -Steve Stone

  6. #6
    Team Puffy Leadoff Hitter CbusRed's Avatar
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    Re: Leinart staying at USC for senior season

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxilon
    No, it'd be refreshing if he were a NBA high school prospect going to the NCAA rather the NBA. But what's Leinart going to do at college this season? Get an education? As if he'd use that in his future. The guy is going to be a #1 pick in the NFL. He could be dumber than coke addict and still make millions regardless.
    Maybe since im such a huge college football fan, Im kind of Jaded, But I see nothing wrong with staying in school to get an education. Being a college graduate myself, I understand that the technical knowledge that you recieve in college isnt even half the worth of your degree. I think the most important things of college are the life experiences you recieve there, and the reinforcement of your ability to learn.


    Maybe morals and values have an effect on Matt, but of course, I have been faulted for having them too.

  7. #7
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: Leinart staying at USC for senior season

    Next year's USC will probably end up going down as one of the best teams in College Football history.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

  8. #8
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Leinart staying at USC for senior season

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM
    Next year's USC will probably end up going down as one of the best teams in College Football history.

    No kidding. What do they have, about 16 starters coming back?
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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  9. #9
    15 game winner Danny Serafini's Avatar
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    Re: Leinart staying at USC for senior season

    Maybe he just wants the challenge of being the first team to win 3 straight national titles?

    Did I read this story wrong, or was USC's punter talking about coming out early? Now that's scary!

  10. #10
    Team Puffy Leadoff Hitter CbusRed's Avatar
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    Re: Leinart staying at USC for senior season

    Imagine if they still had Mike Williams too, man, makes me sick to even think about it.



    It doesnt matter though, because next year, Columbus Ohio will be graced with a prophet among the likes that hasnt been seen since the biblical years. A legendary power that rivals that of mother nature and the Greek gods. An immortal man amongst pre-schoolers. And then God said.......... Let there be Ginn. And football as we know it, was changed forever, all because of our savior in a scarlet and grey jersey.

  11. #11
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Leinart staying at USC for senior season

    I appauld his decision. I don't know that I would have made the same decision had I been in his place, but I find it refreshing when anyone indicates there is something in life more important than wherever the biggest payday can be found.
    I hope he purchases some sort of disability insurance policy that will compensate him just in case he sustains a serious injury next season. Barring some terrible injury, he should still become a millionaire next year-the NFL will still be waiting.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

  12. #12
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Leinart staying at USC for senior season

    I Applaud Leinert's decision, as well. Wish there were more kids making it.


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