The question is always the same: “Who’s In?” Well, let me be the first to tell you that I don’t know, and being less of a fan of teams than most people, I don’t care either. There are a few players I like that all play for different teams, so I’m more interested in the athletes as individuals rather than athletes as a team. Because of this, I feel more inclined to follow the Heisman Trophy race. Since 1982, college athletes have been chosen as finalists to be recognized as some of the most talented young men to play the game.
Typically containing at least three finalists every year, the race for the Heisman is always an interesting one. I find that it would be incredibly difficult to try and determine which athlete is better from another when they don’t even play the same position. Another flaw with the awarding of the Heisman is the fact that one solid performance from a player can instantly put them in the race. In 2014, tailback for the Wisconsin Badgers Melvin Gordon rushed for a total of 408 yards, an NCAA record at the time, against Nebraska. This game put Gordon in the race, and showed college football fans the flaws within the determination of Heisman winners.
The Heisman Trophy should be awarded to the athlete that is consistent in play, putting up high numbers, scoring points, is a leader on the team and can compose himself in situations of adversity.
It should not be an award that is handed out because of one performance that may have broken a record for one year. This year’s Heisman watch includes many talented athletes such as Lamar Jackson, sophomore at Louisville; Deshaun Watson, junior at Clemson; and Christian McCaffrey, junior at Stanford. However, in my opinion, I think there are two athletes specifically who deserve this award based on performances that I have seen.
The first is Jabrill Peppers, linebacker for Michigan. After getting a little buzz on social media during the pre-season, his performances in-season have been incredibly entertaining. Mainly playing as a linebacker, he also takes on a few roles on the offensive side of the ball for the Wolverines as well, including running back and quarter back in the Wildcat formation. He also returns balls for punts and kick-offs. Being a versatile athlete and putting numbers up on both offense and defense, I feel that Peppers is a force to be reckoned with now and will be in the NFL.
The second is Jalen Hurts, freshman quarterback for Alabama. The main reason why I think this man should win the Heisman, if not this year but eventually, is because of how young he is while also having an immense amount of composure. Being a freshman and manning the number one team in the nation offensively is a task in itself. As a quarterback, he puts good passing numbers to compete with other quarterbacks, but pulls away in rushing touchdowns and multiple individual touchdowns per game. I feel that he has that little extra that puts him above the rest of the quarterbacks, and again is impressive because he is a freshman.