Arkansas Football: Why Neither Knile Davis nor Tyler Wilson Will Win the Heisman
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Despite how good Knile Davis and Tyler Wilson are for the Arkansas Razorbacks, neither will come close to winning the Heisman Trophy.
I understand many Arkansas fans won't be happy with me making that statement, but I just don't see it happening this year.
Wilson was one of the better quarterbacks in the SEC last year, throwing for 3,638 yards and 24 touchdowns. However, Davis was out the entire season with an ankle injury. He did, however, rush for 1,322 yards and 13 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2010. Those numbers were good enough to earn him second-team All-SEC honors.
With that said, there are many reasons why they are not going to win the Heisman.
ESPN.com writer Edward Aschoff believes Wilson and Davis are two of the top three players in the Southeastern Conference. I don't agree with his reasoning.
No one would have blamed Wilson for leaving school early for the NFL this spring, but the senior quarterback opted to stay one last year in Fayetteville. That's good news for the Hogs, as Wilson returns as the SEC's top all-around quarterback. He's not only technically sound but also has a cannon for a right arm. He also knows how to take a hit or two. He can make the tough throws and manage a game like a pro.
So, what happened in the game with LSU? The Razorbacks jumped out to a 14-0 lead and looked to control the game. Then, LSU took over and Wilson couldn't do anything. He didn't adjust to the changes LSU made to its defense, finishing with 207 yards passing and one touchdown.
Then, there's the game with Alabama. Wilson again performed poorly (185 passing yards, two touchdowns) in a big game—the essence of a Heisman quarterback is the ability to perform in a big game. Wilson didn't do that last year and I don't think he will do it again this year.
Will Tyler Wilson or Knile Davis be named a Heisman Trophy finalist?
As far as Davis goes, Aschoff somehow thinks that having a good second half to a season two years ago translates into being a Heisman contender.
Davis burst onto the scene during the second half of 2010, when he rushed for 1,119 yards and 12 touchdowns in the season's final eight games. Davis actually led all SEC running backs that year with 1,322 rushing yards and finished the season with 13 rushing touchdowns. He rushed for more than 100 yards in each of the final five games. Davis says his ankle is 100 percent, and when he's at his best, he's one of the most complete backs around. He's not only a home run threat with speed and elusiveness but also packs a punch and can grind out the tough yards.
So, you have a player coming off an ankle injury who has never put together a complete season as a Heisman contender? Did I miss something?
Davis had a great second half in 2010, but how does that translate into him being a Heisman candidate? For any player to win the Heisman, they have to be able to put a complete season together. At most, there can only be two games where he doesn't perform well.
With the players in the running this year, two bad games will not even get you to being a finalist.
While both were named to the preseason first-team All-SEC, I still don't think they're the best players in the conference at their positions. Those accolades go to Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore.
Of course, some will argue that Wilson had better stats than Murray and performed better last year, but Murray has continually gotten better and will be even better this year.
And that's just on the offensive side.
If you look at the defensive side of the SEC, Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones would be my Heisman pick over all four of the other players. That's assuming I'm only picking from the Southeastern Conference.
Say, for instance, that argument is not convincing enough. Let's take it one step further.
When you look in the Southeast, there are other players who have greater chances at the Heisman than Wilson and Davis do.
You have a pair of Clemson players, who I think are even better. Quarterback Tajh Boyd can get an offense going, along with wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Although Watkins is just a sophomore, he showed what he could do in open space.
Not on board with the ACC, or my picks? I can't fault you for that because of how weak the conference has been over the last few years.
Let's take this to a national level.
You have quarterbacks Denard Robinson (Michigan), Matt Barkley (USC), Landry Jones (Oklahoma) and Geno Smith (West Virginia) among Heisman contenders. Then there's Wisconsin running back Monte Ball, Oregon running back De'Anthony Thomas and USC wide receiver Robert Woods, who are also Heisman front-runners.
Those seven players, in addition to the other four mentioned, have a greater shot at the Heisman than the Arkansas pair do.
When you think of Heisman, you think of guys like Barkley, Ball and Robinson. Not Wilson and Davis.
Nothing against the two, but they're not Heisman material.
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