Randle El Awarded Chicago Tribune's Silver Football as Big Ten MVP
December 5, 2001
Bloomington, Ind. -- One day after being recognized by the Big Ten Conference as the league's Most Valuable Player, graduate quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Antwaan Randle El (Riverdale, Ill./Thornton) has been awarded the Chicago Tribune's Silver Football, given each year to the Big Ten's MVP. In voting by Big Ten coaches, the conference office and the Tribune sports department, Randle El easily outdistanced Illinois' Kurt Kittner. Eleven years older than the Heisman Trophy, the Silver Football has been awarded each year since 1924, when it went to Red Grange of Illinois.
Two-time Silver Football and Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin of Ohio State told the Tribune, "What I like about him is what he does for the team. He's a guy, when he gets the ball in his hands, he's dangerous. Being able to watch Randle El play, you see him, you see what he can do and how he excites a crowd. It's something very, very special. Not many times can a guy with a losing record win a Heisman Trophy. But he had an amazing year, and an amazing career. I have no idea what's going to happen (with the Heisman voting), but he has to be in there somewhere, at least."
Randle El, who has already earned his degree, has re-written the Indiana and NCAA record books during his career. He becomes the first IU player to be named Big Ten Offensive Player-of-the-Year since tailback Anthony Thompson earned the distinction in 1998 and again in 1999. Randle El has rushed for more yards (3,895) than any quarterback in NCAA Division I-A history and in 44 career games passed for 7,469 yards and 42 touchdowns and rushed for 3,895 yards and 44 scores.
Randle El also finished fifth on the NCAA Division I-A total yardage list with 11,364 yards and is the only player in major college football history to record 2,500 total yards in four consecutive seasons. He is the first player in NCAA Division I-A history to pass for 40 touchdowns and score 40 touchdowns and finished his career with 42 touchdown passes and 45 touchdowns rushing and receiving. He is also the only Division I-A player to pass for over 6,000 yards and rush for over 3,000 yards in a career.
Randle El is only the fifth IU player to win the Big Ten Most Valuable Player. Current running backs coach Anthony Thompson (1988 and 1989), quarterback Tim Clifford (1979), fullback Corby Davis (1937), and Vernon Huffman (1936).
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