The application process for the most prestigious award in collegiate sports takes place over the course of a season, excluding bowl games.
The applicants, however, are reviewed on a week-to-week basis. Every week is a big week for every player in a race that has seen players passed simply for having a bye week.
As much press as defensive players like Georgia’s Jarvis Jones and Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o can get, it takes as extraordinary season for a player on that side of the ball to take home the trophy.
In 1996, the only time a defensive player won the Heisman Trophy, former Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson did much more than just play defense. He caught 12 passes for 238 yards and two scores, ran for 41 yards and a touchdown, ran back a 78-yard punt against Ohio State and even completed a pass for 28 yards.
Not to mention, he dominated on defense, recording 42 tackles, a sack, nine pass breakups and eight interceptions.
Last season, Tyrann Mathieu made it to New York because of his special teams abilities coupled with his defensive playmaking.
The Heisman Trophy is about the glitz and glimmer. Players have to put up numbers, and their teams have to win.
Only a few types of players are really in consideration: quarterbacks, running backs and the rare wide receiver.
With that established, let’s take a look at how 2012’s Heisman candidates affected their stocks in Week 5.