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August 1, 2007

EA SPORTS Elite 11 NCAA 2008 tourney recap

The focus of the Elite 11 is always on competing at the workouts, chalktalks and the players getting better, but one thing the participants always look forward to is the EA SPORTS NCAA Football video game tournament.

On Tuesday night, the 12 players and six college counselors went to battle in a single elimination NCAA 2008 tournament for bragging rights at the 2007 Elite 11.

The 18 player tourney was played on the XBox 360 and featured two play-in games. By the time the brackets were filled out and the dust had settled, it was one college counselors, Chase Daniel of Missouri, and one high schooler, Florida State commit E.J. Manuel, in the finals.

Curiously enough, Daniel and Manuel were the two most confident players heading into the tourney, and their skills were apparent as they locked up in a tense, defensive struggle in the finals.

Manuel, playing with FSU, played tough defense all, game long, forcing five turnovers which included three second half fumble recoveries, helping him stay in it against a top gamer in Daniel, who played with LSU.

In the end, it was a final fumble by Daniel and a few key first downs that set Manuel up for a chip-shot 25-yard field goal on the final play, giving the high schooler a hard-fought, 13-10 victory over the counselor.

"It's an honor just being out here and being part of this event and I know it wouldn't be possible without EA," said Manuel afterwards.

"My offense wasn't clicking like it usually does, but I got some big turnovers and key plays and pulled it out."

"Those turnovers were brutal," said Daniel following the tough loss. "That's gonna stay with me for a while... I wanted that title."

Here's a look at the full rundown of games from the tourney including who each player played with:

First Round
Jacory Harris (playing with WVU) 29
John Wienke (Michigan) 22

Sean Renfree (USC) 21
Kyle Parker (Michigan) 0

Dayne Crist (ND) 30
Nick Crissman (UCLA) 7

EJ Manuel (FSU) 27
Mike Glennon (Virginia Tech) 21

Star Jackson (Florida) 14
Andre' Woodson (Kentucky) 7

Nate Longshore (West Virginia) 27
Andrew Luck (Louisville) 17

Chase Daniel (LSU) 14
Dayne Crist (Oklahoma) 9

Chad Henne (Michigan) 10
Mark Sanchez (USC) 0

Landry Jones (Oklahoma) 35
Blaine Gabbert (LSU) 14

Colt Brennan (Hawaii) 37
Sean Renfree (USC) 28

Quarterfinals
EJ Manuel (FSU) 24
Chad Henne (Michigan) 14

Landry Jones (Oklahoma) 27
Colt Brennan (Hawaii) 0

Star Jackson (Florida) 24
Jacory Harris (WVU) 21

Chase Daniel (LSU) 14
Nate Longshore (Cal) 10

Semifinals
EJ Manuel (FSU) 14
Landry Jones (Oklahoma) 13

Chase Daniel (LSU) 27
Star Jackson (Florida) 17

Click here for video highlights of the finals!

Video Feature: E.J. Manuel is crowned champ!





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