Originally written on The Detroit Sports Site  |  Last updated 11/3/14
Carolina_panthers_v_7f86
The Heisman Trophy. It’s supposed to be presented to the most outstanding player college football has to offer in a season. But is it? Very rarely. The last time it was came at the conclusion of the 1997 season. Recently, the Heisman has become the most watered down personal achievement award handed out, and the most overrated one to receive. Offensive players who pad their statistics either throwing or running the ball can almost certainly depend on a call to New York City at season’s end. Yet, do these players have the biggest impact on the game as a whole, more than even players on defense? It’s just not so. Consider the case of Charles Woodson, a do it all talent who won the award in 1997. Woodson not only played fierce defense for the Michigan Wolverines, he starred at wide receiver while remaining a burner on special teams. Every single game Michigan won during their magical run, Woodson put his stamp on in multiple ways. He didn’t just excel offensively or defensively. That should be the mark of a Heisman Trophy winner instead of the player who simply throws the most touchdowns or runs for the most yardage. Since Woodson won in 1997, how has the talent of those so-called collegiate wunderkinds translated to the NFL? Not well at all. The most successful recent winners are Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III. In fact, the list of recent players who have flamed out after winning the trophy is longer. Eric Crouch is now a salesman and broadcaster while Jason White manages apparel stores. Troy Smith, Ricky Williams, Ron Dayne, Chris Weinke and Matt Leinart all had cups of coffee in the league, but didn’t do enough to survive for more than a handful of years. The whole impact of Tim Tebow, Mark Ingram Jr. and Sam Bradford is yet to be felt. Woodson, meanwhile, has quietly continued to dominate the league on defense for years. In fact, 1997 is the last great Heisman year in history. Woodson narrowly won the award over Peyton Manning and also had to hold off receiver Randy Moss in the process. Those players have become two of the preeminent contributors at their positions in NFL history. Since then, what other Heisman presentation can boast that type of depth? Woodson and Manning will probably be on their way to Canton, Ohio relatively quickly after the conclusion of their career, and Moss might be one day as well. Only five other Heisman winners occupy the halls of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Three from one voting cycle would be unprecedented. Keep one year statistical wonders like Johnny Manziel. As the Heisman Trophy goes, I’ll remain a traditionalist with an overall, across the board talent like Woodson. Voters need to start opening their eyes to true greatness in the complete sense instead of falling in love with mere statistical anomalies season by season. Only then can the award start to seem a bit more legitimate. Do you believe that Woodson is the last great Heisman Trophy winner with 1997 being the last exceptional year for the award, or have other players and seasons in recent history impressed you just as much? Go ahead and make your voice heard. To send any ideas for future question of the week topics, find Max DeMara on Twitter @SportsGuyTheMax and let him know what you’ve been questioning!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

DeMaurice Smith: NFL teams are blackballing Ray Rice

Bowl games have no place in the College Football Playoff

Chip Kelly: Tim Tebow is a quarterback

Report: Several Bulls players threatened to boycott Thibodeau

Eagles players don't share McCoy's views on Chip Kelly

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bryant attends Cowboys OTAs despite not signing contract

Are Dwyane Wade and the Heat headed for a split?

Good news for the effort to bring an NHL team to Vegas

Adrian Peterson goes on social media rant regarding contract

Report: John Wall, friends kicked off plane in Las Vegas

Broncos OT Ryan Clady suffers torn ACL in practice

Four NFL quarterbacks set to take a step back in 2015

Spelling Bee co-champ wears LeBron jersey under shirt

Tigers' pitching woes make Scherzer loss more lamentable

Byron Maxwell guarantees Eagles play in Super Bowl 50

Australian paper runs "Bernie chokes on Kokk' as headline

Top 10 stories from 2015 NBA Playoffs

Rangers-Lightning Game 7 preview

The can't-miss Prince Fielder

Odell Beckham Jr: Double teams on me won't work

For LeBron James, it's about more than the ring

Is Sam Bradford not close to full health?

Five NFL players who paid dearly to obtain jersey numbers

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Four QBs set to take step back in 2015

Spelling Bee co-champ wears LeBron jersey under shirt

Top 10 stories from 2015 NBA Playoffs

Rangers-Lightning Game 7 preview

The can't-miss Prince Fielder

Chip Kelly: Tebow is a quarterback

For LeBron, it's about more than the ring

Is Sam Bradford not close to full health?

Are Dwyane Wade and the Heat headed for a split?

Good news for the effort to bring an NHL team to Vegas

JJ Watt doesn't care for chance to be on 'Hard Knocks'

Ryan Clady suffers torn ACL

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.