BEST LOCAL BOY MADE GOOD - 2004
Fitzgerald has seemed destined for NFL glory from an early age. The son of a KMOJ and Spokesman-Recorder sports reporter, the Holy Angels alumni and former Vikings ball boy had the chance to learn at the feet of pro greats like Cris Carter and Randy Moss. In his short but memorable career at the University of Pittsburgh, Fitzgerald showed that he'd absorbed their lessons, racking up 1,600 receiving yards in 2003, catching at least one touchdown in a NCAA-record 18 straight games, and finishing second overall in last year's Heisman Trophy voting. As an almost certain top-three pick in this year's NFL draft, Fitzgerald will finally get the chance to match himself against his childhood idols. And, to top it all off, Fitzgerald shows all signs of being a thoroughly decent Minnesota kid. He's a dedicated, straight-arrow type who says in interviews that his mother's tragic death last year inspired his phenomenal football achievements.