USC quarterback selected as first recipient

NEW ORLEANS -- University of Southern California quarterback
Matt Leinart accepted the first annual Manning Award from Nokia
Sugar Bowl officials Tuesday night.

The Manning Award, designated for the nation's top college
quarterback, is named in honor of one of the state's most popular
football families: former Saints quarterback Archie Manning and his
sons Peyton and Eli, who are both now quarterbacks in the NFL.

"It's an honor to be selected the inaugural Manning Award
winner," Leinart said. "It's a surreal moment. I grew up watching
these guys play and now I finally get to meet them. It's also a
special moment for me because I get to enjoy this with my family."

Leinart, also the Heisman Trophy winner for two-time defending
national champion Southern Cal, was selected in voting by a media
panel, the Mannings and a former Sugar Bowl MVP quarterback.