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Johnson Up for Cingular All-America Player of the Week

Sept. 24, 2006

ATLANTA (September 24, 2006) – Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson is one of four nominees for this week’s Cingular All-America Player of the Week. The winner will be determined by fan voting.

In addition to Johnson, this week’s nominees include New Hampshire wide receiver David Ball, Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, and South Carolina wide receiver Sidney Rice. The quartet was selected by a panel of ESPN college football analysts as this week’s top candidates based on their outstanding performances this weekend.

Fans can determine the winner by text messaging “VOTE” to “87654” on their wireless phone and casting their votes for the nominees.

Johnson, a junior from Tyrone, Ga., had a career-best 165 yards receiving on six catches with two touchdowns to lead Georgia Tech to a Thursday night victory over Virginia, 24-7. Despite missing the week of practice with a leg injury, Johnson caught the two longest touchdowns of his career on plays of 58 and 66 yards.

Ball caught 12 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns in New Hampshire’s 56-14 win over Dartmouth. Ball caught his 50th career touchdown, tying Jerry Rice’s Division I-AA record. Quinn passed for 319 yards and five touchdowns as the 12th-ranked Fighting Irish overcame a 16 point fourth quarter deficit to defeat Michigan State, 40-37. Rice hauled in nine passes for 162 yards and a school-record five touchdowns in the Gamecocks’ 45-6 win over Florida Atlantic. Rice set school records for most touchdowns scored and most touchdown receptions in a game.

Fans have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday to submit their votes. The winner will be announced September 21 during ESPN’s Thursday night college football game between Auburn and South Carolina. Fans can vote as many times as they like, with each vote counting as one entry into a sweepstakes to win a trip to the 2007 BCS National Championship game. The Cingular All-America Player of the Week program will continue throughout the season, with the nominees being revealed each Sunday on the 9 a.m. ESPN SportsCenter and on the Web at www.espnallamerica.com.

Cingular customers can visit Cingular’s NCAA® Football Portal on their wireless handset to view video highlights of each week’s candidates, retrieve photos, check scoreboards, track their favorite teams and download school ringtones.

Rutgers running back Ray Rice, Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn and Michigan wide receiver Mario Manningham have won the Cingular All-America Player of the Week in the first three weeks of the 2006 college football season.

In December, four finalists for the Cingular All-America Player of the Year award will be announced during a one-hour special on ABC Sports. Fans will then get a chance to say who the best player in the nation is by voting for the Cingular All-America Player of the Year up until the Bowl Championship Series. The selection process will culminate during the BCS National Championship game on FOX when the Cingular All-America Player of the Year will be presented.

Last year, University of Texas quarterback Vince Young was crowned as the Cingular All-America Player of the Year, beating out USC teammates Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart and University of Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn. He was the second Longhorn to claim the award, after running back Cedric Benson won the inaugural honor in 2004.

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