This year’s Heisman race is one of the most interesting I have ever seen. The top two candidates in my opinion both have controversy surrounding them. It’s going to be very interesting to see how the voters deal with all of the controversy around these players.
Jameis Winston is my top candidate for the Heisman right now. Winston has come on strong this year as a redshirt freshman as he has taken the country by storm. He’s 14th in the nation in passing yards with 2,938. Winston is also tied for 5th in the nation in passing touchdowns with 28. Winston is a leader on this Florida State football team and he is a field general. Many people say he would be the first overall pick if he were allowed to leave school this year. As good as he is on the field, recently Jameis Winston’s name has come up in a sexual assault investigation from last year. I will not go into detail about the case because that isn’t the point of this but something like this has to stick in the mind of voters. I have always gotten the impression that the Heisman was won by players who played well on and off the field. That said, is an allegation like this enough to knock him out of the top spot for the Heisman? Some people have said that it shouldn’t matter and only his on the field reputation should come into play. The Heisman is an award of integrity as well as talent, and I think that some voters will hold that against Jameis because of the seriousness of the allegations. This is not another dude taking money or committing NCAA violations; this is sexual assault and is tough to overlook that. Me personally I don’t think you can hold it against him until you have all the facts. This is a very serious matter until all the facts have been brought to the public it’s hard to deny the kid an award of this caliber on a maybe. I take nothing away from the seriousness of the situation but at the end of the day if he has not been charged with a crime you should not convict him of the crime on your ballot.
Johnny Manziel is my second candidate. He makes voters uneasy simply because of the way he acted in the offseason. In my opinion, he was just being a kid and didn’t give a damn about what society thought about him. He has also lost two games this year and had the controversy where he was suspended for a half at the beginning of the season. That said, he is obviously a better player than last year, his numbers are up across the board and he is just as, if not more electrifying than last season. Johnny Football is 3rd in the nation with 31 passing touchdowns. He’s also 8th in passing yards with 3,313. Johnny is arguably the best player in the nation but because of his off the field “issues”, some voters will turn a blind eye to what he’s done on the field. He put up 562 yards and 5 touchdowns of total offense against an Alabama defense that is held to the highest standard possible. His team has two losses but in both of those losses he performed well enough to win but the Texas A&M defense is in the bottom half on the nation statistically. If people do not vote for Johnny Manziel, it would be for personal reasons and not his play on the field. In my opinion, he and Winston are neck and neck in the race for the Heisman. Voters will hold Manziel off the field antics against him but once again, he hasn’t committed any crimes or hurt anyone since he won the Heisman. He hasn’t gotten in trouble academically or anything of that nature and he’s improved on the field. The only reason people would have not to vote for him is because of off the field “issues”.
These are by far two of the frontrunners for the Heisman but they may be denied for things that have taken place off the field. Is it fair? Maybe, maybe not, but it is understandable. If the off the field things keep them from winning then the winner will most likely be Bryce Petty of Baylor. I cant wait to see exactly how the voters feel about these things and it will show in who wins the Heisman this year.
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