Michigan State's running back Le'Veon Bell went from relative unknown nationally to a Heisman contender with his performance in the game against Boise State.
It's not often that a player single-handedly wins a game for his team, but Le'Veon Bell did just that against the Boise State Broncos to open the season. He had 44 carries for 210 yards and two touchdowns. He also had another six catches for 55 yards.
This is the kind of performance that the Heisman voters see and want to give consideration to. He has an eloquent mix of speed, power and agility to accompany his fullback-sized, 6'2", 244-pound frame. He compares favorably to Steven Jackson of the St. Louis Rams.
Much like Jackson, he is able to lower his center of gravity and power through holes. They also have the ability to kick into an extra gear once they hit the open field and turn a 10-yard play into a 50-yard touchdown.
However, Bell's biggest asset is his ability to carry the team when need be. On the final drive of the game, the Spartans needed him to grind out the clock. And grind away he did. Even when he got stopped in the backfield, he found a way to fight for the 1-to-2-yard gain.
Despite not having the best team to work with, he could lead Michigan State to a B1G Conference Championship by carrying the team on his back. That performance alone could be something that would make him a Heisman finalist.
When looking at it historically, last year is the best example of a running back taking his team on his back and turning in a monstrous year to earn Heisman consideration. Wisconsin's Montee Ball had 307 carries for 1,923 yards and was the main rushing offense for the Badgers in 2011.
He wound up with a seat in New York in early December at the Heisman trophy presentation. Le'Veon Bell should continue into the same kind of position this year despite having an offensive line that won't feature multiple first- and second-round picks like the Wisconsin offensive line did last year.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist and Trends and Traffic Writer for Bleacher Report. As a Featured Columnist, he covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek, runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.
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