We’re about a month away from when voters will begin the process of selecting this year’s Heisman winner, which means the race for the trophy is about to heat up as it hits the home stretch. As part of a new weekly feature on Heisman.com, we’ve rounded up the latest news and updates from around the media world to help keep you posted on what’s happening with current contenders and past winners.
TCU’s Trevone Boykin threw for 433 yards and seven touchdowns in an 82-27 win over Texas Tech this past Saturday, prompting ESPN’s Travis Haney to wonder if he’s starting to make his case for the Heisman. Chip Patterson of CBSSports.com agrees:
Many Heisman voters are writers, so you can bet they will gravitate toward a good story. Boykin has been a change-of-pace backup quarterback called in to start as a freshman in 2012, a wide receiver and a quarterback in 2013, and has been thriving as the leader of this new high-powered offense in 2014.
The Horned Frogs currently lead the nation in scoring with an average of 50.4 points per game.
In the heartland, the Des Moines Register says Heisman voters are taking notice of Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah following his 225-yard, 3-TD performance against Rutgers on Saturday. It’s the fourth 200-yard rushing outing of the season for the senior Cornhusker. Meanwhile, NFL.com sees Abdullah as the top non-quarterback threat to win the Heisman.
Consider Tennessee coach Butch Jones impressed. He told the Nashville Post that Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper should get consideration for the Heisman after catching nine passes for a career-high 224 yards and two touchdowns against the Volunteers. Cooper is second nationally in receiving yards per game.
“They do different things with him, but he runs after the catch, makes every catch. He’s an elite player–very deserving to be spoken about in the Heisman Trophy race. I have a lot of respect for him as a competitor.” — Butch Jones.
Chuck Culpepper of the Washington Post debated the merits of Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott. He is torn between the two dual-threat quarterbacks.
“If after all the mad Saturdays, it does shake down to either Marcus Mariota of Oregon or Dak Prescott of Mississippi State, let us all crave a tie. They could sever the trophy whereupon each player would get one leg and one arm, appropriate because both use both. The problem is, sitting here in late October, each appears a deeply worthy winner.”
Mariota threw his first interception of the season against California on Friday night, but he also threw five touchdown passes. His Heisman buzz hasn’t subsided, notes NBCSports.com, and the Ducks’ quarterback’s TD-to-INT ratio is still 24-to-1. Saturday, Prescott accounted for three touchdowns in MSU’s win over Kentucky, prompting USA Today’s Paul Myerberg to call it a two-way race between Prescott and Mariota.
Speaking of Prescott, he hails from tiny Haughton, La., (pop. 3,454). Michael Bonner from The Town Talk tells us that people from his hometown have long believed Prescott was destined for stardom.
“There was always something about him,” said Brittany Wright, who lived next door to Prescott. “You could tell he was bigger than what Haughton was.”
Ted Miller of ESPN.com says this Saturday’s Stanford-Oregon battle could help determine the Heisman winner.
Alabama’s only Heisman winner, Mark Ingram, rushed for a career-high 172 yards for the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
The Associated Press took a look back at Ara Parseghian’s first season with Notre Dame, which featured Heisman Trophy winner John Huarte.
The other big move by Parseghian was naming little-used senior John Huarte, who hadn’t even earned a letter his first three seasons, the starting quarterback.
“He went from a non-letter winner to a Heisman Trophy winner in one year. That’s about as dramatic as you can get,” Parseghian said.
One knock against Huarte was his awkward sidearm delivery.
“I didn’t worry about that. I worried about results,” Parseghian said. “He was getting the ball to receivers and had good touch. He had good speed. He could run our option. I mean, he was an athlete, and I don’t know how they missed him.”
Baylor’s Heisman winner, Robert Griffin III, is recovering from injury and finding inspiration to sustain him from all kinds of places. He quoted Winston Churchill ahead of the Washington Redskins’ game with Dallas on Monday night:
“A quote that I stumbled upon during this process of being injured was by Winston Churchill, and it says, ‘Courage is what it takes to stand up and do something; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen,'” Griffin said.
The actual quote from Churchill was a bit different: “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
But the idea was clear. Griffin said he’ll be listening to the medical team and his coaches.
John W. Heisman’s birthday was on Oct. 23, and Georgia Tech — where he coached for 16 seasons — wished him a happy birthday on its official web site.
The Yellow Jackets feature a statue of Heisman on the grounds of its athletic department.
Some big Heisman games are coming up this weekend. Be sure to check back here next Monday for the latest Heisman buzz.
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