The Sporting News Names Doster
SECs Offensive Freshman of the Year; Cutler, Osemwegie
and Johnson Also Recognized 12/9/02
Louis, Mo. Record-breaking Vanderbilt tailback Kwane
Doster was named the Southeastern Conference Offensive Freshman
of the Year by The Sporting News Monday.
Doster was joined on The Sporting News SEC first-team
by three teammates - quarterback Jay Cutler, linebacker Moses
Osemwegie and All-American punting candidate Greg Johnson.
Doster was recognized as running back and return specialist
by the national sports weekly.
Doster, from Tampa, Fla., set a team freshman record with
798 rushing yards despite starting the season as the third
tailback. Rushed into duty by early-season injuries, he eventually
started five games.
Cutler, Osemwegie and Johnson were among 24 freshmen or redshirt
freshmen to play for the Commodores in Bobby Johnsons
first year at the helm. The youth movement was apparent in
The Sporting News All-SEC team: as only South Carolina
could match Vanderbilts four all-conference selections.
Doster displayed his breakaway ability early in the season,
amassing 344 all-purpurpose yards in a narrow lossat Ole Miss.
He finished the game with 101 rushing yards and 243 yards
on eight kickoff returns, including a 95-yarder that sparked
a 21-point Commodore comeback. The 243-yard total smashed
the previous SEC return record of 197 yards by Kerry Goode
Dosters 798 yards was the eighth highest single-season
rushing total by a Commodore back, and eclipsed the former
freshmen record of 644 yards set by Carl Woods in 1983. His
25.7-yard kickoff return yardage was the highest at Vanderbilt
Cutler started at quarterback in all 11 games he participated
in this season. The Santa Claus, Ind., native passed for 1,433
yards and 10 touchdowns while rushing for 393 yards. His nine
rushing touchdowns was the most by any SEC quarterback.
10 touchdown passes established a freshman record at Vanderbilt.
He ended the season second all-time among Vanderbilt freshmen
in completions (103), attempts (212) and passing yards.
Greg Johnson admirably filled a huge special teams void for
the Commodores, handling all of Vanderbilts kicking
assignments. The Lilburn, Ga., native ended the season ranked
fifth in the NCAA (and second in the SEC) in punting with
a 43.8-yard average. He remained remarkably consistent through
the season, booting a punt of at least 50 yards in 11 of 12
games. Johnsons net average of 38.8 yards was fourth
in the NCAA. Johnson also converted on eight of 13 field goal
attempts and all 27 extra points.
rash of injuries kept Osemwegie from a superb season. After
starting the Commodores first two games at outside linebacker,
the Nashville native played through severe knee, ankle and
hand injuries the rest of the season. He ended the season
as the teams fifth leading tackler with 53 total stops,
including 40 solo tackles. He also added 4.5 tackles for loss
and 1.5 sacks.