3rd Place Not Necessarily Alright With Quinn

By Adam Caparell - December 11, 2006

Throwing for 3,278 yards and 35 touchdowns on a 10-2 Notre Dame team was good enough for a third place finish for Irish QB Brady Quinn in the Heisman Trophy voting. While we all knew it was a foregone conclusion that Ohio State QB Troy Smith was going to win the award Saturday, learning the final statistical breakdown of the voting - that revealed Quinn's finish - provided the most intrigue and suspense on the night.

It also provided the only disappointment. As one of three finalists for the award, the question as to whether Quinn would finish in second or behind Arkansas RB Darren McFadden was answered, and not to Quinn's particular liking.

He wasn't angry, he wasn't fuming, but Quinn was subtly disappointed with the voters' decision to slot him third.

“I thought all three of us were deserving,” Quinn said. “I wasn’t so, so surprised, but (I was) a little bit. Just due to the fact that usually the Maxwell Award winner is the second guy.”

Quinn won the Maxwell last week, given out annually to college football’s top player. But he didn’t take home the hardware many thought he would heading into the season. After the Heisman presentation ceremony, he was peppered with a slew of questions, one asking whether the preseason pressure to perform at such a high level affected him at all during the regular season and cost him the prestigious Heisman.

“I play for the University of Notre Dame so there’s really pressure on the quarterback all the time,” Quinn said. “Whether people labeled me as the Heisman winner going into the season or whatever, it really didn’t affect me. Our goals as a team are what’s most important and that’s what we focus on.”

Quinn felt the right man won the award. He said if he had a vote, it would have gone to Smith, a fellow Ohio native.

“I’ve been a fan of him. I’ve always rooted for him and tried to get back and watch the highlights of him whenever I could,” Quinn said. “I’m proud of what he’s accomplished, knowing his background and where he comes from. It’s important to understand why he’s so driven and why he’s so deserving of the award.”

The main reason Smith deserved it, according to Quinn: Ohio State’s 12-0.

“More than anything, he’s led his team to a national championship,” Quinn said.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 10:58 AM on December 11, 2006

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