Blog Entry

Who could win the Heisman from the class of 2011?

Posted on: January 26, 2011 3:47 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2011 9:03 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer

Now that the deadline to declare for the NFL Draft has come and gone, it’s never too early to take a look at who might be in the frontrunners for the 2011 Heisman Trophy. With National Signing Day approaching however, who from the class of 2011 might one day end up hearing his name called in New York? Here’s five recruits who could end up hoisting the trophy sometime during their college careers (in alphabetical order):

Malcolm Brown

Cibolo (TX), 6-foot, 220 pound running back. Committed to Texas. 

Since Ricky Williams won the Heisman in 1998, Texas has had just two running backs finish in the top ten in the country in rushing (Jamaal Charles in 2007 and Cedric Benson in 2004). That’s two players in the top ten in 13 years. With the Texas offense looking more like North Texas’, expect a healthy dose of Brown as a freshman in order to take the load of whoever will be the quarterback in 2011. Brown hits the hole hard and is a North-South runner. He might have to adjust to the speed of the game and improve his vision after getting the ball but there’s no reason he couldn’t become the next Texas back to crack the national rushing list. He will also have the advantage of having a channel devoted to showing his highlights 24/7.

Jadeveon Clowney 

Rock Hill (SC), 6-foot-6, 250 pound defensive end. Considering Alabama, South Carolina and Clemson. 

Defensive players have had to climb Mount Everest just to be invited to New York for the Heisman but 2009’s push by Ndamukong Suh should have others reconsidering before writing off a defensive player. Clowney is the most advanced defensive end coming out of high school in some time, having the speed, size and explosiveness you look for. One NFL scout told my colleague Bruce Feldman he would draft Clowney in the first round in this year’s NFL Draft. A season where he could at least replicate Suh’s stats in 2009 (12 sacks, 23 tackles for a loss) isn’t out of the question and given the recognition he already has, one has to have Clowney on the list somewhere.

Jeff Driskel

Oviedo (FL), 6-foot-4, 225 pound quarterback. Committed to Florida. 

Being the quarterback at Florida generally positions a player to make a run at the Heisman no matter what you do the season before. With Charlie Weis as offensive coordinator and installing in a pro-style offense, Driskel has the chance to put up very good numbers when he eventually takes over under center. His legs are an asset but he has a very strong arm and quick release. The best quarterback in the class, Driskel has a chance to turn things around at Florida and then take a trip north to New York.

Jerrard Randall

Hollywood (FL), 6-foot-2, 190 pound quarterback. Committed to Oregon. 

Unless you’re a die-hard recruitnik or Oregon fan, you might be wondering who Randall is. A dual-thread QB from talent-rich South Florida, Randall is slated to take over for Darron Thomas eventually. Given the numbers Thomas and his predecessors have put up in Oregon’s prolific offense, it’s no surprise to find Randall on this list. Chris Houston, better known as the Heisman Pundit, has touted Randall as possible Heisman winner and if you watch some tape, it’s hard to disagree. A strong arm and the speed of a fast running back, Randall might be the player who can bring home the Heisman that former Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon almost did.

De’Anthony Thomas 

Los Angeles (CA), 5-foot-9, 165 pound athlete. Committed to USC. 

Being the running back at USC usually sets you up pretty well to win the Heisman. After all, five Trojan running backs have won the award (well, four actually). In the backfield is where Thomas says he will play at USC but he might be better suited in the secondary. With scholarship limits hitting USC over the next few years, head coach Lane Kiffin might choose to play Thomas on both sides of the ball. Nicknamed ‘The Black Mamba,’ he could be a factor in all three-phases of the game in the mold of Heisman winner Charles Woodson.


Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: January 27, 2011 6:39 pm

Who could win the Heisman from the class of 2011?

Most teams wish they could win eight games let alone with freshman starters at key positions.  USC has as good as talent as any team in the conference on defense and offense.  USC wasn't bad last year, USC didn't have time to deal with the problems caused my transfers last year.

Throw that in with four new coaches and our QB playing injured for quite a few games.

Since: Oct 26, 2009
Posted on: January 27, 2011 2:53 pm

Who could win the Heisman from the class of 2011?

Clowney, and more specifically defensive players in general have no chance unless they happen to win every game 3-0, or 21-0 and they are a defensive back running back multiple interceptions/punt returns every game.

It's the whole being extremely important to a teams success that does it.   Defense is much more "team oriented" in that it's more spread out, unlike on offense where your QB is a direct part of every play, and your RB or WR are a part of many plays etc.    It's like that CB who got cut by the raiders for not having enough stats.   And the reason he didn't have great stats is because he did such a good job, nobody threw the ball towards him(Raiders are stupid).  

Maybe someday, and I suppose Clowney is a decent candidate to break the mold.   But I also think it's going to be in large part to what team he selects.     I don't think he's going to have much chance @ South Carolina.    You really gotta be a part of the championship equation anymore, and last year was the first time South Carolina even beat a #1 team in their history, and that #1 team wasn't really the #1 team either when all was said and done, they got beat by the team that ended up #1 twice, badly the 2nd time.  

Alabama would be his best chance at doing such, but I doubt even that matters much. 

Also, nobody from USC is going to have a chance in the next 4 years, if not the next 6-8 years.     They were not so great this past year and they are just now getting into the scholarship problems of the sanctions.   4 years from now they'll be looking for another coach(big name probably) and to rebuild.

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