KEENAN REYNOLDS DESERVES HEISMAN TROPHY

Keenan Reynolds isn't receiving much mainstream consideration for the Heisman Trophy. So, why is that?

The Heisman Trust Mission Statement states, “The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.” Keenan Reynolds, the man who has scored more rushing touchdowns than any other FBS player who ever played, is the epitome of that mission statement. It's sad that so few sports writers with Heisman votes fail to understand the Heisman Club's mission statement and dismiss Reynolds as a second their candidate because he is an option quarterback playing at Navy. 

Alison Althouse-GoMids.com
Sure the fact that Navy won't be playing for the American Athletic Conference hurts Reynolds visibility but shouldn't hurt his viability. The Houston loss hurt but it showed why its ridiculous that some writers dismiss Reynolds as just an option quarterback. Keenan, with the Navy option attack struggling and managing just 147 yards on the ground, threw for a career high 312 passing yards, a touchdown, while going 13-for-16. He added 84 rushing yards and a score. Reynolds is the best Navy quarterback in the triple option era. His ability to run the offense and  make plays with both his legs and arm is why his 30 career wins are the most in Navy history and the third most among active quarterbacks nationally.   His 83 career touchdowns are the second most in NCAA FBS history for career total touchdowns with Reynolds just one behind Montee Ball of Wisconsin. Reynolds has scored at least one rushing touchdown in 26 of the last 30 games. He has scored at least one touchdown in 35 games in his brilliant career. 

Reynolds was always an underdog for the Heisman Trophy but received so much support by fans he became the leading vote getter on the  ESPN and Nissan Heisman House fan vote. Despite being the leader he was removed by unnamed ESPN 'experts" from the fans  poll. Its rather odd that "experts" control a fan poll. Its not like you can say Reynolds who posted 396 yards of total offense, two scores and 31 points-- played poorly in the loss to Houston. It was a lame decision but not surprising coming from ESPN where Howard Bryant recently attacked the military and police is his vapid screed in ESPN magazine on December 7, of all days,  "Are You Ready for Some Patriotism?" 

While not playing for the AAC conference title cost Reynolds his chance to make a final impression before all the Heisman voters make their final selection he should still draw significant consideration. The vote will be cast before Navy plays Army.  The Heisman Trophy presentation is made the night after the Army-Navy game. I hope Heisman Trophy voters follow Roger Staubach's lead in selecting Reynolds. Keenan has been a great player, set an all time rushing touchdown mark and has already led his team to one of its best seasons ever in a quality conference. This year Reynolds has 220 carries for 1,093 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. He has passed 46-for-84 (.54.8%) for 964 passing yards, six touchdowns with an interception. He's had a great year but with the bias towards the power conferences by so many voters he might not have won even if he had repeated his personal best sophomore season when he ran for 31 touchdowns and threw eight more. 

Reynolds, the AAC 2015 offensive player of the year, was been notified by the Heisman Trophy Trust that he is a candidate to be invited to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony. He needs to be in the room and should win the trophy in my opinion. Reynolds has lived the Heisman Trophy mission statement on and off the field. Alabama' Derrick Henry, Clemson's Deshaun Watson, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield , Stanford's Christian McCaffrey among others are all worthy candidates and some have better statistics. None have played at a higher level this year or in their careers. Keenan should win the Heisman Trophy and definitely needs to be at a minimum one of the finalists. 


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