No tight end will ever win the Heisman Trophy.
Those are nine simple words that Hurricane fans have already heard several times and will continue to hear throughout the 2003 season. It doesn’t matter if Winslow has a chance to haul in 100 receptions, because he’s a tight end. The fact that Winslow is a tight end in a wide receiver’s body, and in fact, came to the UM as a wide out apparently doesn’t matter. And it is supposedly meaningless that Winslow is more motivated than anyone else in the country, personally pinning the Fiesta Bowl loss on himself, despite the fact that he was the Miami offense in the second half.
All these reasons mean nothing because Winslow is a tight end, and a tight end will never win the Heisman, right? Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Ladies and gentlemen, Kellen Winslow is my favorite to be the first tight end to take home the golden statue at the Yale Club in December. Why? Because not only is Winslow going to have more impact that any other player in college football, but you don’t see very many tight ends run deep routes down the sidelines, drawing triple coverage. And I suppose the name Winslow couldn’t hurt his chances either.
However, to fulfill my journalistic duties, I am forced to point out the fact that other college football players have pronounced themselves in the mix to grab Mr. Heisman at season’s end. Some big names realistically don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell, but others are right on the doorstep, just in case KW2 isn’t ready to join college football immortality.
The 5 favorites, if there wasn’t a player named Winslow:
1. John Navarre (QB)-Michigan: The Wolverines are now in the driver’s seat in the Big Ten, and for all intensive purposes, a likely Sugar Bowl berth. Navarre will finally have the great season, and the Wolverines will experience Mardi Gras early.
2. Kevin Jones (RB)-Va. Tech: Jones is the most explosive running back in the country, and with no Lee Suggs and an option offense in place, 2,000 yards is within reach.
3. David Greene (QB)-Georgia: The Carson Palmer of this season will take some Southeast attention away from Winslow, and lead Georgia to another 10-win season.
4. Andrew Walter (QB)-Ariz. St.: More like Joey Harrington than Palmer, in the sense that he won’t be able to recover from a lack of exposure out East. However, gaudy numbers are forthcoming.
5. Roy Williams (WR)-Texas: Big wide receiver should win the Big 12 Player of the Year, and if Texas gets a BCS berth, he is why.
The next five:
1. Cody Pickett (QB)-Washington: Pressure is on to come through in his senior campaign after a dismal 7-6 record for UW a year ago.
2. Casey Clausen (QB)-Tennessee: Substitute UT for UW, and 8-5 for 7-6.
3. Phillip Rivers (QB)-N.C. State: May move up to the Top 6 pretty soon. Either way, the Wolfpack are your ACC champs.
4. Rashaun Woods (WR)-Oklahoma State: Not sold on the Cowboys contending for Big 12 supremacy, but if Woods equals his 107 catch season, he needs to get some consideration.
5. Darren Sproles (RB)-Kansas State. While everyone is singing the praises of Ell Roberson, I’m more impressed with Sproles’ Marshall Faulk-like ability out of the Wildcats’ backfield.
Five long shots you may or may not have heard being kicked around:
1. Adam Hall (QB)-San Diego State: The “what are you smoking” selection this year. Still, 3,253 yards is 3,253 yards.
2. Bruce Perry (RB)-Maryland: The Terps need to take home the ACC crown for him to be in serious contention, but he is an underrated player in College Park.
3. Timmy Chang (QB)-Hawaii: Out of action for the season opener, but bound to renew his crown as the best signal caller no one has heard of.
4. Marlin Jackson (CB)-Michigan: Another player who will miss the team’s first game, but is still the most dominant defensive back in the Big Ten since Charles Woodson.
5. Ben Roethlisberger (QB)-Miami(OH): Nearly 7,000 career yards, and almost as many syllables.
And my favorite category, five players who will not win the Heisman Trophy:
1. Eli Manning (QB)-Ole Miss: They don’t give college football’s premiere award to a quarterback of a .500 team.
2. Larry Fitzgerald (WR)-Pitt: A terrific Heisman candidate…in 2004.
3. Chris Gamble (CB/WR)-Ohio State: How many different ways can you say overrated?
4. Carlyle Holiday (QB)-Notre Dame: Irish eyes won’t be so kind this year.
5. Steven Jackson (RB)- Oregon State: Not sold on the third team Dennis Erickson abandoned, which spells trouble for Jackson.
Jeremy Marks-Peltz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org