Monday, May 19, 2008

Hesiman Hopefuls : 2008-2009

Dom had posted his predictions for Heisman Hopefuls really early, and being of a competitive nature I wanted to challenge him and make a more accurate projection. In the wake of the NFL draft, and off field activities, i.e. Ryan Perrilloux being asked to leave the Tigers, many of my ideas have been thrown out the window. This has become a difficult task at present, but hey I love a challenge. This is why I will be breaking my hopefuls into a couple categories. The first two categories consist of Quarterbacks and Running Backs. The second category rounds out the list of Top 10 Hopefuls with a single wide receiver who I believe deserves mention. This is not to say that he is the only wide receiver deserving of accolades, but for this purpose of this article he makes the list. In the history of the bronze stiff arm there have been 42 Running Backs, 26 Quarterbacks, 2 Wide Receivers (Tim Brown 87’ and Desmond Howard 91’), and 1 Defensive Player (Charles Woodson CB 97’). I have written a couple times about how all of the awards breakdown, and how the voting isn’t always fair. My perspective on the matter continues to cloud my field of hopefuls, but without further ranting here are my predictions in no particular order and with some food for thought about each candidate:


Tim Tebow: Florida Gators:
Returning Starters: Offense 7, Defense 8
Relevant Information: Archie Griffin is the only player to ever win two Heismans. That being said no sophomore had ever been immortalized in bronze either. The media loves this kid, he is an animal, and his numbers speak for themselves. He would be my front runner, but the way in which McFadden got treated shows that a lot of the golden rules involved in Heisman voting have changed. Take that for what you will, but he has to be in the mix again.

Chase Daniel: Missouri Tigers
2007: 384/563 4306 YDS, 33 TD 11 INT
Returning Starters: Offense: 6 defense: 10
Relevant Information: One of the biggest surprises of last year was Daniel and his Tigers. They were one win away from the National Championship game, and he ended up a Finalist for the Heisman. Missouri boasts a lot of key returns to their starting squad including TE Chase Coffman ( 52 Catches for 531 Yards and 7 TDS) and WR Jeremy Maclin ( 80 Catches for 1,050 Yards and 9 TDS). If they can prove that last year wasn’t a Cinderella story we may see Daniel in the hunt once again.

Sam Bradford : Oklahoma Sooners
2007: 237/341 3121 YDS, 36 TD 8 INT
Returning Starters: Offense: 8, defense: 5
Relevant Information: Bradford led the team to an 11-3 record which is respectable in it’s own right. Two of those losses came in games where Bradford was injured or otherwise ( Colorado attempted only 19 passes and Texas Tech where he only completed 3). He brings back some favorite targets in WR Juaquin Iglesias ( 68 Catches for 907 Yards and 5 TDs) and TE Jermain Greshman ( 37 catches for 518 yards and 11 TDS). If he can get some support and better numbers out of RB Chris Brown I believe the Sooners and Bradford have a chance to be in the hunt.

Graham Harell: Texas Tech Red Raiders
2007: 512/713 5705 YDS, 48 TD 14 INT
Returning Starters: Offense: 10, defense: 8
Relevant Information: I have said that for the majority of Hesiman Hopefuls having a Championship Hopeful team is equally as important as skill. Once again Tebow changed those rules on many different levels, but TTech who in recent history has not received a lot of recognition this is especially true. Keys to being in the hunt: #1 Harell will have to lead the Raiders on the road against Kansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas State. Not mentioning games that are difficult playing a Big 12 schedule, these games will be crucial and a W will be more important than the stats. #2 He has huge numbers, and is surrounded by one of the most talented Receiving cores in the country. Play for a Big 12 Championship and he is the new Colt Brennan.

Matthew Stafford: Georgia Bulldogs
2007: 194/348, 2523 YDS, 19 TD , 10 INT
Returning Starters: Offense: 7, defense: 9
Relevant Information: Georgia looks poised to be a Top 5 team out the gates. That bodes well for anyone behind the helm, however, Stafford lost his #1 target in Sean Balley (615 Receiving Yards). Most likely his new favorite target will be Mohamed Massaquoi who had 32 catches for 491 yards and 4 TDs in 07’. Stafford’s main concern is the same as Boeckman, and why they are interchangeable at #5: Their Running Backs will most likely carry the majority of the load and subsequently get most of the credit.

Todd Boekchman : The Ohio State Buckeyes
2007: 191/299 2379 YDS, 25 TD 14 INT.
Returning Starters: Offense 9, Defense 9
Relevant Information: Boeckman will return as the Buckeyes quarterback this season with a chip on his shoulder. The Back to Back BCS Championship Runners Up have a lot to prove as a team and for the Big Ten as a whole. The go to guy for Boeckman this year will once again be Brian Robiskie (55 REC for 935 YDS and 11 TDS). Boeckman might gain some recognition as good leader, but most likely will fall to the same fate as Stafford when it comes to who is really responsible for the work load. See Below:

Running Backs:
Chris “Beanie” Wells : The Ohio State Buckeyes
2007: 247 Carries, 1609 YDS, 15 TD
Returning Starters: Offense 9, Defense 9
Relevant Information: Wells,a Junior, is past being overlooked as one of the best running backs after a class with likes of McFadden have moved to playing on Sunday. It appeared as he did not suffer a sophomore slump either, allowing him to move into the upper echelon of running backs in College Football. As far as I am concerned he is the top RB returning as of right now.

Knowshown Moreno: Georgia Bulldogs
2007: 248 Carries, 1334 YDS, 14 TD 0 Fumble
Returning Starters: Offense: 7, defense: 9
Relevant Information: Good Numbers, Good Team, add in another great season and I don’t see any reason he won’t be considered on of the best.

Noel Devine: West Virginia Mountaineers
2007: 73 Carries, 627 YDS, 6 TD
Offense: 8, defense: 4
Relevant Information: This will be Noel’s first real year in the lime light. Slaton took the majority of the focus last year, and Noel performed well in the back up situation. This year he will be under a new head coach, the system will be a little different, and he will be the main focus of the running game. The question is can he step up or will he sophomore slump?

LeSean McCoy: Pittsburgh Panthers
2007: 276 Carries, 1328 YDS, 14 TDS
Returning Starters: Offense: 8, defense: 7
Relevant Information: Devine’s main competition for the Big East Rushing Title. Pitt is a team that is on the cusp, and is always in the upset conversation. I think that there is a big gap when it comes to premiere running backs, but do not be surprised if you start to hear this kids name a lot more during the course of the season. McCoy might be suited on an impact list, players to keep an eye on, or any one of those lists but honestly I added him in anyways considering I think the RB race has only two men.

Wide Receivers:
Michael Crabtree: Texas Tech Red Raiders
2007: 134 Rec.1962 YDS, 22 TD
Returning Starters: Offense: 10, defense: 8
Relevant Information: The Numbers. He was a Freshman. That should scare everyone. He is one of ten returning offensive starters on a team that ended 9-4 in 2007. It is a long shot for him to be the third WR to ever win a Heisman, but it should not be taken out of the conversation. Crabtree has also made in known that he would like to return kicks while head coach Mike Leach says that he does not dislike the idea, but has no plans of making that happen. If Crabtree gets in there to return kicks, returns a few, and racks up the all purpose yards that might help his cause a great deal.

These picks will obviously change as the season gets closer, and I will continue to look for guys that are under the radar. Unfortunately, the Heisman is the radar, and if you are under it well then you obviously aren’t holding it.

4Real Out….