Monday, December 3, 2012

Heisman Watch-Who Are You Voting For?

Johnny Manziel aka Johnny Football

A multi-sport athlete in high school who's prowess on the football field made him legendary, this freshmen QB from Texas A & M was christened Johnny Football by his fans. Much like Adrian Petersen, he is known for his speed and also being nominated for the award as a freshmen. His brag board of stats include being the youngest QB to put together 3000 yards passing and 1000 yards rushing. In addition, Mr. Johnny Football also has 3419 yards passing and 1181 yards rushing. He has thrown for 24 touchdowns and rushed for 19. Already drawing comparisons to Robert Griffin III or RG3, his talent cannot be denied. Tebow and Bradford won out of the gate. Neither have brag worthy careers but Adrian Petersen did not and has the better pro-career. Either way, Johnny Football has a bright future ahead of him and is favored Saturday night. And I say, "Go Johnny, go!"

Jarvis Jones
This Georgia Bull Dog has not had an easy ride to the top. Originally on the USC roster, he had a spinal chord injury and was not cleared to play. Wanting to achieve his dreams, he requested a transfer to the University of Georgia and the rest is history. In between that his brother Darnell Kitchen was murdered. However, despite the hardships he has faced life has gotten better as he has proven himself on the field. Both tremendous in size and quick on his feet, he draws comparison to Clay Matthews as well as Von Miller. While he is probably not going to win, Jarvis reminds me of past candidate Darren McFadden. While Darren did not win he had a certain star quality that could not be denied both on and off the field because he was a survivor. And no matter what happens he will be doing just fine.

Stepfan Taylor
Stanford University's Stepfan Taylor is everything that one should look for in a specialty back. Fast and agile, he can outrun anyone and outrush anyone. Not to mention like a mythological Mercury he is quick on his feet running through and around tackles. Stepping up now that former Heisman candidate Andrew Luck is out of the picture, he has drawn comparisons to Darren Sproles. In his career Taylor has rushed 1364 yards, received for 215 yards, and 13 touchdowns, beating the record of the man he is compared to. On the smaller side with tremendous speed and agility, he is reminiscent of dearly departed Heisman Winner Ernie Davis. Football needs good runners and we have one here. Now let's see if he runs away with the Heisman Saturday night.

Ka'Deem Carey
While he may be a mere 5'10" this Arizona Bobcat is making up for it in speed and agility. Having a prolific season of 1757 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns, he has an impressive 33 catches for 228 yards. With great speed, he is able to catch tackles left and right. However, the problem is with his catching. Sometimes he tends to have butterfingers. But as I remember Heisman winner Reggie Bush had the same problem from time to time and now he is doing quite well in the pros. As a player, he fits the profile of Shane Vereen, smaller but quick as they come. Much like his pro-doppleganger who does not have great hands as well, he is used in situations that require great speed. Catching is only a small thing when you look at how this guy can move on the field. I don't think he is going to win the Heisman, but with the right combination of coaches and people who know how to use his gifts, when it comes to the pros, in the words of Jimmie Walker he will be "DY-NO-MITE."

Tavon Austin
Tavon Austin of The West Virginia Mountaineers has already been called the Best Player not to win a Heisman. A wide receiver and return specialist, he might be on the small side but don't be fooled, his speed is incredible as he runs through and around tackle situations. I know I have cited Ernie Davis before, but when I see speed like this I think of the Elmira Express during the Orange Bowl simply running around and jumping over people. Already drawing comparisons to Mike Wallace, Tavon has posted 1149 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns on 106 catches. Not bad. Either way, Wallace is doing well with the Steelers and if Austin goes pro he will do well wherever he goes.

Kenjon Barner
Kenjon Barner is favored number two to win the Heisman. This University of Oregon running back succeeded former teammate LaMichael James in the superstar seat. Built with the same small stature and speed as his former teammate, Kenjon has rushed 1624 yards for 21 touchdowns. The thing is, no one knows if they are good players, or products of coach Chip Kelly's gun 'n' run system. While Kenjon has the speed plus instinct of his former star teammate LaMichael, Mr. James has yet to snap for the 49ers this season, so the real pro-comparison isn't a good one. However, Kenjon is always smiling in photos and has a bubbly, happy demeanor that always comes across when interviewed. Win or lose, I like this guy and am hoping he does well just cause I like him.

Marqis Lee
Marqis Lee of USC may be a long shot to win the award but he is one I am rooting for because he has perhaps the most compelling backstory. The child of two deaf parents who grew up in poverty,  Marqis, a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) and communicates in both spoken dialogue and sign. His father was hardly around and he was shuffled from relative to relative. When I hear a hard knock story like this I think of Mikey Oher from The Blind Side and want the guy to do well no matter what. Despite accomplishment of 112 catches, 1680 yards, and 14 touchdowns USC's losing season will drag down his record. Sure, he is small but so was LaMichael James, Colt McCoy and of course the one who I mentioned several times-the late great Ernie Davis. Marqis might not win, but his backstory is sure to make him a fan favorite, and he has the adversity vote in my opinion.

Braxton Miller
Braxton Miller of the Ohio State Buckeyes is one Heisman dark horse that we cannot rule out. Since 2002, he has lead his team in a 12-0 season. One of the best dual threat players in the Big Ten, Miller has completed 58.3 percent of his passes, 2039 yard, and 15 touchdowns. He also has 1271 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground. Braxton Miller is a reminder former Buckeye QB and Heisman Winner Troy Smith. While not always the best passer, he got the job down. Let's hope Braxton Miller doesn't end up like the man who's stats he shadows, a winner only in football but not in life. Smith threw games and was suspended for gambling during his tenure on Ohio state, and who's pro-career came to an end with injury and a diva attitude. Let's hope the same fate doesn't befall Braxton Miller.

Collin Klein
This Kansas State QB and big bodied superstar reminiscent of Tebow is favored to win. The Kansas state senior is a candidate that steal my heart for several reason. One he is cute. Two he plays on the same team as his sophomore running back brother Kyle making football a family affair like the Manning Clan. Three, he plays piano, madolin,and violin killing the dumb jock myth. As a QB he 2036 yards passing, 787 yards rushing, and 34 touchdowns. Mr. Klein holds Kansas State records and has shattered the past records of former Heisman winner Ricky Williams. The things working against Klein are his size. At 6'5" he has more the body of a tight end than a QB and some critics say he does not have the instincts of a next level quarterback. Also after a loss to Baylor some say he is out of running for the award. Either way I believe he is impressive and has a good future ahead of him. With some work instinct can be taught. And we all have a strike or two against us. Maybe Collin Klein can work with his.

Manti T'eo
T'eo is nominated and a lot of people have a lot to say about why he shouldn't be. This Latter Day Saint from Hawaii plays only defense for Notre Dame. Many argue that he is in better company and why he is being nominated rather than his more talented teammates? Not to mention he is lacking in the speed department. Say what you will but his on the field instinct is amazing, and it probably tops any player on this list. Not to mention he is having an amazing senior season, playing a large role in Notre Dame's perfect record. In addition T'eo has amazing field vision and knows how to get the ball and what to do with it on every play. He might not have the stats the rest of the men on this lineup but again he knows what to do and when to do it. Sounds a lot like Lawrence Timmons from the Steelers. I want to vote for him just to see him win and anger some people. It's called a Sanjaya complex. I like him just cause.....

Who do you think will win?

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