Clowney for Heisman?

After his outstanding performance against Georgia in front of a national audience, Jadeveon Clowney has begun to get some attention for the Heisman Trophy. Though the odds are slim for any defensive player to win the trophy, for Clowney to be mentioned in the talks is impressive.

The picture has made the rounds. Georgia freshman running back Keith Marshall, after the initial shock of seeing Jadeveon Clowney running right towards him, knows he cannot block him straight up so he attempts to cut him down. As Marshall goes down, Clowney puts his massive hand on top of Marshall's helmet and uses Marshall's now helpless body to springboard over the top of his head and headed straight towards quarterback Aaron Murray.

It was one of those plays that you had to see it to believe it. Jaws dropped and heads shook in disbelief. Is there anything this guy is not capable of doing? On the football field, the answer is simply no.

Clowney can do whatever he wants on the football field and the best anyone can do is what Marshall did and that is just get in the way, or attempt to. Now Clowney will try and do something that is seemingly unheard of. He has a shot to win the Heisman Trophy.

The Heisman Trophy is awarded to the best player in college football for that particular season. That is not completely true. The Heisman Trophy is usually awarded to the best college football player for one of top teams in the country, and is almost always a running back or quarterback. The last time a player won the award that was not a quarterback or running back was 1997, one of only three plays in nearly 40 years that won the award playing a position other than running back or quarterback.

Only one defensive player has won the prestigious award and that was Charles Woodson in that 1997 season, but even Woodson won the award primarily for his play on special teams. His Heisman pose against Ohio State after scoring a touchdown remains one of the most memorable moments in college football history. For a strictly defensive player to even get mentioned for the award is unfathomable. Then again, Clowney's talent is unfathomable and if you need proof just look at the picture again.

As is the case with all games between two highly-ranked teams, there were plenty of national personalities in the press box during Saturday night's game. Many of these guys saw Clowney live for the first time in his short two-year career. All of them were often left shaking their head in amazement as Clowney routinely leapt over Marshall, Todd Gurley, and even offensive tackle Kenarious Gates multiple times. Many of those same reporters left with a new name for Heisman.

"I haven't really heard about it," Clowney laughed. "It doesn't matter. I wasn't d-lineman of the week so I don't know if that was my best game. I've won it twice so I wouldn't say it was my best game."

First of all, for Clowney not to earn defensive lineman of the week is highway robbery. Sure he only had four tackles, but two of the four were for loss and one sack against one of the best teams in the country. Secondly, it was one of those games that really puts a player on the map as far as Heisman consideration. He was eating the lunch of every Georgia player who tried to block him and he was in the face of Murray every time he turned around. Three days later Murray is probably still having nightmares of Clowney coming for him and may never visit a circus again.

For any Sophomore to be considered for the award can be a major ego boost, unless your name is Tim Tebow. Clowney, who was criticized by some for waiting until after National Signing Day to make his college choice, has never been one to embrace a lot of attention. He is one that will often shy away from attention and focus on his team.

"He's pretty level-headed," defensive line coach Brad Lawing said. "He's been through this stuff from recruiting. I thought when he got recruited he was real level-headed about it. A lot of times in recruiting you have to pull people's leg a lot, but he's not a concern. I think at the end of the season if people are still saying that, then that's great. We have a long way to go. We're guaranteed at least six more."

For the season Clowney has a modest 25 tackles, but nearly half (11) of tackles for loss and his 6.5 sacks is among the nation's best. If the season ended today West Virginia's quarterback Geno Smith would be a lock for the trophy. He's had an unbelievable season thus far and is yet to throw an interception. However, are there four other players that have had as big an impact as Clowney has had? If the season ended today, Clowney better pack his bags because he's heading to New York.

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