NEW YORK - Jason White capped a remarkable comeback with college football's most prestigious award, winning the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night a year after an injury nearly ended his career.
The Oklahoma quarterback, who almost quit football following his second major knee injury in September 2002, beat out Pittsburgh receiver Larry Fitzgerald for the award.
White threw 40 touchdown passes and led the third-ranked Sooners to 12 straight wins to open the season and a spot in the Bowl Championship Series title game against No. 2 LSU.
Even a subpar performance in a loss in the Big 12 title game last week against Kansas State couldn't stop White from winning the award. His three months of brilliance before that were more than enough to persuade voters to pick him.
White, The Associated Press Player of the Year, led the nation in passing efficiency, completing 64 percent of his passes for 3,744 yards and eight interceptions.
But come draft time in April, White's name probably won't be called until the second day, after loads of linemen, defenders and even other stronger-armed quarterbacks who never were in contention to win the Heisman.
White's future is clouded by two serious knee injuries that almost ended his career and a lack of what NFL scouts describe as measurables - speed, size and strength, which usually count more than production in the draft.