NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Sam Bradford of Oklahoma was voted The Associated Press collegefootball player of the year Monday. He beat out the same twoquarterbacks he did in capturing the Heisman Trophy - Colt McCoy ofTexas and Tim Tebow of Florida.
Bradford received 27 votes from the AP media panel that votesin the weekly poll. The sophomore quarterback was followed by McCoywith 17 votes. Tebow won the award last year and had 16 votes thistime. Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree had two votes.
Bradford is the third Oklahoma player to win the AP award,which began in 1998. The others were Josh Heupel in 2003 and JasonWhite (2000).
Bradford, McCoy and Tebow finished in the same order in theHeisman balloting. Bradford will lead No. 2 Oklahoma against Tebowand No. 1 Florida in the BCS title game Jan. 8 in Miami.
Oklahoma's offense this season has been among the mostprolific, scoring 702 points and breaking the major-college recordof 656 set by Hawaii in 2006. The Sooners are the firstmajor-college team in 89 years to score at least 60 points in fivestraight games, a streak they'll take into the showdown withFlorida.
Bradford, 6-foot-4 and 218 pounds, has passed for 4,464 yardsand 48 touchdowns this season, breaking the school record White setin 2003. He also leads the nation in passing efficiency and hasthrown only six interceptions.
Bradford tore ligaments in the thumb on his left(nonthrowing) hand during a win over Oklahoma State on Nov. 29. Heplayed despite the injury as the Sooners routed Missouri in the Big12 title game Dec. 6 and underwent surgery the next day. Coachessaid at the time Bradford most likely will return to practicewithin 10 days.
Bradford came to Oklahoma in 2006 regarded by many as merelyan insurance policy should something happen to Rhett Bomar.
Something did happen. Bomar broke NCAA rules by receivingextra pay for work he did not do at a Norman car dealership, andOklahoma coach Bob Stoops kicked him off the team that August.
Bradford redshirted in 2006, waiting behind Paul Thompson -who stepped in and guided the Sooners to a Big 12 title - thenemerged from a three-way competition for the starting job lastseason.
He passed for 7,585 yards and a school-record 84 touchdownsin his two seasons as the starter. Bradford needs 338 passing yardsagainst Florida to overtake White for the school record.
Bradford plays in the state that produced the great JimThorpe, an American Indian. Bradford is a member of the CherokeeNation and has become a symbol of sorts in the native Americancommunity. He has said he has embraced that heritage more since hebecame the Sooners' quarterback than he did while growing up inOklahoma City.
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