We are well below our quota of Jadeveon Clowney blog posts which is hurting our #pageview situation so here you go you know you can’t get enough.
Two days ago ESPN came out with its first Heisman watch of the year and not surprisingly Jadeveon Clowney occupied the top spot. Our own opinion is that’s nice, it’s good exposure for us, and we’re happy and proud to see him there. But the odds are very much against him winning the Heisman even though he is starting out in front and even though he is the most hyped college defensive player of all time.
Long odds do not mean impossible, however. A lot will have to fall into place for it to happen, and we decided to take a look at some of those things.
So, Jadeveon Clowney will win the Heisman if:
The rest of the defensive line is as good as we think they’ll be. The worst argument I’ve seen against Clowney winning the trophy is something along the lines of “teams will game plan for him”. OH NO, HE MIGHT GET DOUBLE OR *GASP* TRIPLE TEAMED! I got news for you, college coaches have been game planning for J.D. Clowney since his freshman year. The reason he’s still been successful is because of how good the guys beside and behind him have been. Those guys need to be, and I believe will be, good again. You cannot commit two guys, much less three, to Clowney on every down when there are players like Sutton, Quarles and Surratt to deal with on the same line. If the offense tries to play one-on-one, Clowney will win that most of the time. If Clowney gets double teamed he’ll win a lot of those, but it also opens things up for other guys to make plays. Pick your poison 2013 opponents.
The competition is “meh”. Offensive players like Johnny Manziel and Tajh Boyd (yeah, I said it) have the potential to put up record-breaking, mind-boggling numbers. If they do that and their teams win, which they likely will, then Clowney has an uphill battle. The reason is the voters/pundits have fewer ways to quantify Clowney’s impact versus 3800 yards passing and 35 touchdowns. Clowney needs the rest of the competition to be “meh”, not so impressive.
Double-digit sacks and TFL’s. See above, he will still need numbers to make his case. “Dude, did you see The Hit” won’t get him very far.
Speaking of, he has to have something close to a “The Hit” moment. We all know there will never be another “The Hit”. There just won’t. But he needs a spectacular play or two to help the cause – interception(s), caused and recovered fumbles, and a touchdown or two. The only defensive player to ever win the Heisman, Charles Woodson, had his campaign boosted by his punt return exploits and by playing on offense as well. We know J.D. isn’t going to play offense, so he’ll need a handful of spectacular plays in his portfolio.
We win all, or almost all, of our games. That’s just the way it goes, your team almost has to be BCS or fringe BCS. (I know A&M wasn’t a BCS team, but Manziel’s performance against the eventual National Champion had the same effect.)
McCarron and Yeldon cancel each other out. Alabama will probably go undefeated, so one of these guys will be in the race. If they both have great seasons, they might just split the votes for the best guy on the best team.
Win every individual battle. There cannot be even the perception that a tackle like Tiny Richardson or Taylor Lewan got the best of him for 60 minutes. That will be a killer.
We beat Clemson. I believe Tajh Boyd will be in the Heisman conversation because he will have great numbers and he’ll be on a team that will have between zero and two losses when they get to Columbia in November. It’s at that point that we can kill his Heisman hopes, and boost those of Jadeveon Clowney. Provided all or most of the other things mentioned above happen.
So there you have it, a simple roadmap for Jadeveon Clowney to win the Heisman.
Should we just go ahead and give it to him?