Heisman hopefuls: One voter’s top 3 players to know
My time as a Heisman Trophy voter has been relatively nonchalant. Since 2010, the choices have been easy.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Cam Newton, RGIII, Johnny Football, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. I’m no rocket scientist, but I’m 5-for-5 in my Heisman picks. Those weren’t that difficult.
This season, however, looks to be more challenging. The top conference in the nation, the SEC, has two tailbacks worthy of consideration, and there are a handful of other worthy candidates in the running.
Is my 100 percent Heisman streak in jeopardy? You bet. Nevertheless, here is where I’m leaning with two weeks remaining in the regular season:
- QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma — I lean toward quarterbacks when it comes to my Heisman vote. Moreover, I usually lean toward quarterbacks on championship-caliber teams. That could still be the case after Oklahoma beat TCU on Saturday. Mayfield shouldn’t have been playing after suffering a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit, but he showed some impressive toughness by throwing a touchdown before being held out of the game. Oklahoma’s medical staff does not deserve Heisman consideration.
- RB Leonard Fournette, LSU — I must have missed the Heisman criterion that says a team’s losses should be held against a legit candidate. There’s a lot going on in Baton Rouge, but Fournette isn’t the cause of it. Simply put, I’ve seen him do things that no running back has done in years. Even in a jolting loss to Ole Miss, Fournette gained 180 all-purpose yards.
- RB Derrick Henry, Alabama — Henry is a very good tailback. However, he’s also running behind an exceptional offensive line as part of a very balanced attack. His Bayou Bengal counterpart still leads the nation with 1,582 rushing yards. Henry has 1,526. If you’re an NFL general manager looking for a running back, who would you draft first? I’d take the guy in yellow and purple.