Archived Story

Who deserves the Heisman Trophy?

Published 10:37am Thursday, November 21, 2013

“The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability, combined with diligence, perseverance and hard work.”
These are the exact words outlined in the Heisman Trust mission statement. Yes, there are more, but these are the words that should be taken seriously by every voting member of the Heisman.
It does not say it should go to the best athlete, nor does it say it should be handed to the most exciting player or the player who has the best statistics. All of this can be argued and open for interpatation.
Rarely do candidates have common opponents throughout the season. Rarely do the candidates have equal representation surrounding him. Position by position, team by team, every program is different.
If I had a vote, I would look at the intangibles.
I would adhere to the first two sentences in the Heisman mission statement, and then I would look at the candidate’s character and integrity. I would look at his entire body of work and then I would ask these questions about each candidate:
Is this candidate a true leader  on and off the field?
Is this candidate someone you would call a high moral person?
Finally, is this the player you want to have the ball with less than two minutes remaining in a game while your team is behind?
Forget about Johnny Manziel and last season. Yes, he may be flashy, talented and a winner. He also has some statistics that make him a true candidate.
He is also a player who finds a way to rub others the wrong way (and his fingers).  Manziel made a mockery of the Heisman last summer by making the ESPN scroll line way too many times.
Florida State has a talented quarterback in Jameis Winston-but that is all I can say good about him or the Florida State program.
It is becoming very apparent, that not only could Winston be charged with sexual assault, the university and the police department may have been complicit by withholding information surrounding the alleged attack that happened last Dec. 7.
Does he have talent? absolutely, but I can give you a laundry list of talented athletes who have gone down the wrong path because they felt they were above the law.
I will wrap this up by telling you that I will not go into the statistics comparisons between each potential candidate, at least not for now.
I will do this: I will tell you who I would want as my leader with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
I will tell you who I have the utmost respect for on and off the field. I will also tell you who should win the coveted Heisman Trophy in the end.
My choice right now is A.J. McCarron. If he takes Alabama into the national championship for the third year in a row, the voters then must decide who they want as a “mission statement” representative of the Heisman.
Do you want the best athlete with great statistics, but poor or marginal character, or do you want someone like McCarron?
His numbers are good enough to make any college football team a winner. He is a field general and when you think you have him figured out, he finds a way to beat you.  By the way, he has three national championship rings, two as a starting quarterback and one as a backup.
How could you not like this kid?
Until next time …
Meyers is a sports columnist for The Outlook. You can follow him on Twitter at @brucemeyers11.