In the 2012 season the Heisman committee showed that they were at least open to the idea of having a true defender win the Heisman Trophy, something that hasn't happened since Michigan's Charles Woodson achieved the feat in 1997.
Manti Te'o, Notre Dame's middle linebacker, ended up in second in the Heisman voting while recording 113 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks and seven interceptions. Interceptions were the only category in which he was listed in the top ten nationwide, being tied for second.
This could possibly have opened the door for players such as South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. As a sophomore he was able to record 23.5 tackles for a loss (T-2), 13 sacks (T-3) and 54 tackles. If he is able to build off that in his junior (and likely final) season in Columbia, it will be hard to overlook him as one of the finalists.
Football is a sport with two sides, offense and defense, so you have to imagine that the best player in the nation could be on defense. The thing defensive players have going against them is that they are not able to put up the gaudy numbers that many offensive players, especially quarterbacks, are able to post. Since Reggie Bush's 2005 Heisman was revoked, there has only been one player since 1999 to win the award that was not a quarterback (Mark Ingram, 2009).
In his first two years of college ball, Clowney has been one of the most dominating defensive ends in recent history. If he is able to lead his defense to a top five ranking, his team a trip to the SEC Championship game, and national prominence, his chances will greatly increase.
Clowney's Heisman campaign is already off to a fast start since his bone-crunching hit in the Outback Bowl against Michigan continues to air on TV networks across the country and will resonate in the minds of voters. If he is able to get off to a fast start in 2013, and put up top five stats in multiple categories, he could become the first player in 16 years to match Woodson's accomplishment.
Can Clowney win Heisman in 2013?
Gene's Page Top Stories
State Offers 2018 KickerMississippi State has already extended offers to dozens of talented junior prospects across the country. On Saturday, Ft. Payne, Alabama kicker Evan McPherson joined that number.…
Gene's PageYesterday at 9:21 PM
Bohanon Talks Bulldog OfferMississippi State hosted another round of Junior Day visitors this past Saturday as the Bulldogs look to get prospects talking about their program in the early stages of the 2018…
Gene's PageYesterday at 8:56 PM
Diamond Dogs Re-Focus after Opening ActsThird day, fourth game into the season and already Bulldogs were having a mid-inning meeting to talk comeback. “We’d been in this situation before,” 2B Hunter Stovall said. Pausing…
Gene's PageYesterday at 7:28 PM
GPTV: Howland Looks at Ole Miss RematchWhatever there is, or isn’t, left to play for this season, there is always pride. Which just happens to be central to Mississippi State’s next home court opportunity.
Gene's PageYesterday at 1:17 PM
GPTV; Kegler Previews Ole Miss Match-UpMississippi State (14-12, 5-9) will host Ole Miss (16-11, 7-7) on Tuesday with a chance to even the season series with the Rebels. Freshman Mario Kegler reports that the Bulldogs…
Gene's PageYesterday at 12:17 PM