2004 Heisman Trophy Watch ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>
| 2004 Heisman Trophy Watch|
Darren Sproles/Kansas State: This unique running back lead thenation last year with 1,986 total yards. He had an incredible6.6 yards per carry. Sproles ran for 235 yards against the OklahomaSooners vaunted rock solid defense. Needless to say this guyis for real and can run on any team. He had 287 receiving yards.Talk about versatility, he averaged 27.2 on kick-off returnsand 10.2 on punt returns. All of this was accomplished in possiblythe toughest conference, the Big 12. At 5’7″ he remindspeople of a cross between Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders. Hehas both speed and power, but is best known for his abilityto avoid tackles in the open field. Sproles will not have toshare the spot light this year with former quarterback Ell Robersonwho graduated.
Cedric Benson/Texas: The Big 12 has another solid running backwith Mr. Cedric Benson who decided to stay in school for a shotat the National title that eludes Mac Brown. When you hear theexperts talk about how valuable a player is to his team, Cedricis a perfect example of that as evidenced by the following stat:Texas is 15-0 when he rushes for 100 or more yards in a game.Nobody finished as strong as Cedric did last year as he had174, 180, 144, and 238 yards rushing in his last four games.That will be fresh on the minds of the voters heading into thisyear’s campaign. The Horns face the hated Sooners on October9th and if Cedric has a big game and the Horns pull off theupset .he will be the front runner to win this covetedaward.
Jason White/Oklahoma: The Big 12 is loaded with great playersand here is another Heisman candidate worthy of this article.Jason White is trying to become only the second player in NCAAhistory to win this award twice. Although we think he is thebest quarterback in all NCAA, he will have an uphill battlebecause of his showing in the National Championship game againstthe LSU Tigers. He also flopped in the Big 12 Championship game,leaving writer’s thinking twice about their prior votes. Forgetlast year though, this is a new season and Jason is going toput up even better numbers and possibly regain the respect ofsome of the writers. Like Cedric Benson, if Jason has a hugegame against the Sooners (our No.1 rated defense) and wins,then he could emerge as the favorite once again.
Matt Leinhart/USC: Remember a guy named Carson Palmer? We doand he won the Heisman in 2002 for USC. All Leinhart did wasstep in and produce better stats and win a share of the Nationaltitle as the Trojans finished number 1 in the AP poll. Leinhartpassed for 3,556 yards with a 63.5% throwing percentage. Healso threw for 38 TD’s and only had 9 interceptions. The oneobstacle that could hurt his chances is that he will be playingbehind an offensive line that is depleted due to graduation.If the rebuilding process of the line goes well, then expectanother fine year from Leinhart and the Trojans.
David Greene/Georgia: This stud has stayed below the radar,but all that will change this year as he and the Bulldogs ofGeorgia could be in for a very special season. Unlike last year,Greene will have a more stable offensive line in front of himand defenses will have to respect the passing game, which willallow him to throw more often. This team is one of our favoritedark horses to compete for the National Title this year andif Georgia can somehow go undefeated in the rugged SEC ..voterslove RB’s and QB’s on undefeated teams.
Brad Smith/Missouri: Brad may be the most well rounded quarterbackin all the NCAA. He can win games with his arm and his legs.Brad became only the second player in NCAA history to pass for2000 yards and rush for 1000 yards. This amazing feat was accomplishedas a freshman! Missouri could possibly sneak up and win theBig 12 North division. If this happens, you can be rest assuredit’s because of the play of Brad Smith.
Other notables: Kyle Orton of Purdue, Chris Rix of Florida State,Timmy Chang of Hawaii, Carnell Williams of Auburn, TA McClendonof NC State and aaron Rodgers of California.
Article by Paul Prestridge