By Austin Shone
Every year the Heisman Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding player in college football whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. This year the Heisman Trophy seems tailor-made for Christian McCaffrey.
Last year he proved to be the best all-around offensive player in the nation, smashing Barry Sanders’ record for all-purpose yards by 600 and finishing with 3,864. He’s the most versatile weapon in the country. The Stanford multi-threat back rushed for over 2,000 yards from scrimmage, had 1,200 return yards, and had 645 yards receiving.
Most outstanding player: Check.
McCaffrey is expected to be the leader of the offense with new quarterback Keller Chryst taking over. He has everything a team wants in a leader: a strong presence in the locker room and in the classroom and the play on the field to back it up. He has great speed and can change direction efficiently. The only difference this year is that everyone knows he’s going to get his touches, but they still won’t have an answer for him.
Pursuing excellence with integrity: Check.
Let Josh tell you what he wants about Leonard Fournette. He’ll surely have a good year, as well, but he’s one-dimensional. McCaffrey is the most complete and exciting player college football has seen in a long time.
By Josh Nelson
Leonard Fournette was the front-runner to win the Heisman Trophy after the first two months of last season. His hopes were quickly dashed when he was held to 31 yards on 19 carries at Alabama, and he ultimately finished with the sixth most points in the voting even though he ran for 1,953 yards and 22 touchdowns.
This year will be different, though. Fournette is going to be on a mission to win the Heisman while attempting to propel his LSU team to a championship. Barring any injury, he should rush for over 1,000 yards for his third straight season, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he surpasses the 2,000-yard mark this year. He’s out to prove that he’s the best running back in the NCAA.
If Fournette is going to dominate from start to finish this season, he’s going to need some help from his quarterback, Brandon Harris. Harris needs to improve to help open the run game for Fournette. And now that he has a full season under his belt, Harris should be able to help keep defenses from stacking the box.
Austin will try and tell you that Christian McCaffrey is going to win the Heisman this year, but he couldn’t be more wrong. McCaffrey isn’t a bad choice, but Stanford just isn’t going to be as good as last year. LSU has a chance to win a championship this season and that might just be the difference if both players live up to their potential.