Manning named nation's best all-around player

Updated: December 11, 2003, 9:27 PM ET
Associated Press

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Mississippi quarterback Eli Manning won the Maxwell Award as the nation's best all-around player Thursday night.

Manning joins his older brother, Peyton, as winners of the award that once was a good predictor of the Heisman Trophy. From 1981-99, 14 of the 19 Maxwell winners also won the Heisman but none of the last three winners have.

Peyton Manning won the Maxwell in 1997 but finished second to Michigan's Charles Woodson in the Heisman.

Manning beat out AP Player of the Year Jason White and Pittsburgh receiver Larry Fitzgerald for the award, presented by the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia.

Those three players and Michigan running back Chris Perry are finalists for the Heisman, which will be given out Saturday.

Manning directed the Rebels with the precision of a surgeon this season, passing for 3,341 yards with 27 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

The Rebels (9-3) won nine regular-season game for the first time in 13 years with only a three-point loss to No. 2 LSU keeping them from their first appearance in the SEC title game.

The announcement was made during the Home Depot college football awards show on ESPN.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press