Soccer in 2018 is a quarterback game. But should Heisman only be a quarterback prize?
On Saturday night, the finalists for the 84th Heisman Trophy – Tua Tagovailoa, Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins, all quarterbacks – will gather in New York missing some worthy candidates.
The voters rejected the nation's main rusher, the Wisconsin Jonathan Taylor, for the second year in a row, despite having hired a disappointing group of Badgers running for about 2,000 meters. Clemson Travis Etienne's tail has not been selected despite his 20 touchdowns. (Not even Memphis's star, Darrell Henderson, who raised both Taylor and Etienne with an astonishing 8.9 yard per goal and 22 touchdowns.) Quinnen Williams, who destroyed Alabama, has approached the national limelight a too late. And Josh Allen, the powerful puzzle game in Kentucky, remained outside despite having led the country with 14 solo bags in the regular season.
How does a prize awarded to the "most prominent college player" feature the last three of the quarterbacks in a season like this, when all four playoff finalists were led by QB in their first full season as first? Elite, the quarterback game is the most valuable commodity in sport, but it's too simplistic to think that the top three, four or five most important players in the country this year all he played the same position.
This is not to discredit Tagovailoa, Murray and Haskins. They are all safe candidates and talented players, and both Tagovailoa and Murray would be one of the most deserving winners of all time. Neither Taylor nor Etienne nor Williams nor Allen should have conquered it. But even before the final voting margins are made public, it is clear that each of these non-quarterbacks, such as Saquon Barkley in 2017, Jabrill Peppers in the & # 39; 16 and Tyrann Mathieu in the & # 39; 11, have earned a consideration heavier than the one obtained.
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It is not news that the slogan "the most outstanding player" for Heisman is now often combined with the concept of "best quarterback on a good team". Yet, in an era characterized by explosive offenses, the quarterback obsession with Heisman is relatively new. From 1972 to 83, the quarterbacks zero won the prize, while the backs were reigned as Archie Griffin and Herschel Walker. But since the turn of the millennium, 15 of the 18 Heisman winners have been quarterbacks. The number 16 is a few days from the lifting of the trophy. And of the 71 total guests since 2000, only 25 exclusive non-quarterbacks complete the list.
Take 2009 as an example of the potential of the Heisman ceremony, closing one of the most competitive and entertaining races of recent memory. The most prolific candidate at college football, Stanford's Toby Gerhart. Nebraska's defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh almost won. The tagback Alabama Mark Ingram brought Heisman home. Also the two most important quarterbacks Power 5, Tim Tebow of Florida and Colt McCoy of Texas, were finalists.
The standard for Heisman candidates not quarterback has skyrocketed. Before winning, Ingram launched for less than 300 yards of Taylor this year. On the defensive side, 2009 Suh concluded with two bags less than 2018 Allen. A once exciting competition with elite players of all shapes and sizes has turned into a quarterback contest.
This season, Taylor was Heisman's most snubbed finalist. The second year of University of Wisconsin dropped just 11 feet away from 2,000 on the ground, with 15 touchdowns. He rushed for over seven meters to the port. Only once in the whole season did Taylor miss the 100-yard score, and he eclipsed 200 yards four times and 300 yards once.
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In a disappointing year for the Badgers, Taylor is all that has kept the program in peak position. It is the next phenomenon of a Badger line that runs behind such great names as Ron Dayne, Montee Ball and Melvin Gordon, and like these three Wisconsin legends, Taylor deserves a place in New York. The Badgers finished a disappointing 7-5 with the 117th passage in the standings in the FBS. Moved by the falls of the quarterbacks of Wisconsin, Taylor has faced stacked boxes throughout the season, yet the native of Jersey has accumulated over 165 yards per game, much more than anyone else in the FBS. He also delivered Heisman's moment:
With the Badgers knocked down in the extraordinary triple against Purdue, Taylor made the round of the Boilermaker defense along the way to a touchdown. His last step in the final area was his 321th yard of the evening, and he finished with three points in the comeback win.
Taylor's dominant 2018 season deserved more Heisman hype than he actually did. His team's difficulties – and his position – should not have dragged him into the race. The same goes for Etienne, who dominated for Clemson, and for Williams and Allen, the defensive forces for the best SEC teams.
Each of the quarterbacks you see on the front row on Saturday night has earned the road to New York. This was a year deeply beaten by the quarterback between the stars of college football. But restricting Heisman's reserve to the best quarterbacks – and occasionally top rusher, defending receivers or playmakers – is a disservice.
For the good of the same John Heisman, a 158-pound man, we consider at least other exceptional football players.