Texas A&M Football: Why Christine Michael Will Be a Heisman Contender

Ryan DavenportContributor ISeptember 8, 2012

COLLEGE STATION, TX - OCTOBER 15: Christine Michael #33 of the Texas A&M Aggies runs during a game against the Baylor Bears at Kyle Field on October 15, 2011 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

The only thing that could stop Christine Michael from tearing up Louisiana Tech last week was Mother Nature. 

After Texas A&M's season opener against the Bulldogs was postponed by Hurricane Isaac, Michael will get an opportunity to start his season on an even bigger stage, as the Aggies take on the No. 24 Florida Gators on Saturday afternoon.

And he's more than ready for the challenge.

Michael, despite being left off many preseason Heisman Trophy lists of contenders, told ESPN earlier this week that he expects great things of himself in 2012, saying that he believes he'll "be up there with any running back in the country when it’s all over." 

After rushing for 899 yards and eight touchdowns in nine games in 2011, Michael's season ended early when he tore his ACL against Oklahoma, but he says he's fully recovered and believes his senior season will be his best.

At this point, it seems that injuries are only thing that can keep him from being a finalist for the Heisman in 2012, because when he's been healthy, he's been a dominant force for the Aggies.

As a freshman in 2009, Michael earned Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year honors after rushing for 844 yards and 10 touchdowns, but his sophomore season ended after just eight games when he broke his leg against Texas Tech. 

Assuming Michael can stay healthy in 2012, there's no reason why the bruising back can't put together one of the most dominant rushing seasons in school history.

Heading into the Aggies' season opener against the Gators, Michael has nine career 100-yard games, including his jaw-dropping 230-yard performance against Arkansas in 2011.

In fact, during Michael's nine games in 2011, his 99.9 yards per game ranked third in the Big 12, despite leaving his last game early due to injury.

If his legs hold up, he'll easily surpass the 1,000-yard mark and will be among the nation's leading rushers by season's end.

There's no guarantee that he'll stay healthy, but if he does, he'll be a finalist for college football's top individual award in December, because when he's been on the field, he's been virtually unstoppable.