Is Tyrod Taylor Heisman Worthy?

Justin CatesCorrespondent IOctober 16, 2009

MIAMI - JANUARY 01:  Tyrod Taylor #5 of the Virginia Tech Hokies passes during the FedEx Orange Bowl against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Dolphin Stadium on January 1, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Tyrod Taylor has had an unusual career path to be sure. His first two seasons in Blacksburg found him splitting time with Sean Glennon and working his way through injuries and a somewhat “loopy” throwing motion.

With his increased passing production and the team’s rise in the national rankings, Tyrod Taylor has found his name popping up in Heisman Trophy talk.

Tech has only had one Heisman Trophy finalist; Michael Vick finished third in the voting back in 1999.

If Taylor were nominated, that would imply he was among the best quarterbacks in school history, perhaps even the best. So how does he stack up against the Hokie’s all-time greats?

Despite playing only part time his first two seasons, Taylor produced solid numbers.

In 2008 Taylor completed 99 of 173 throws (57.3 PCT) for 1,035 yards but just two touchdowns and seven interceptions.

As a runner, Taylor carried the ball 147 times for 738 yards and seven touchdowns.

This season Taylor has already surpassed his previous best touchdown total with eight and he’s thrown just one interception. His next outing will see him set a career-high for passing as well.

The rushing yards have been way down for Taylor this season, but he already ranks near the top in all major categories among Tech quarterbacks.

Tech’s most prolific all-time rushing quarterback is Bob Schweickert who played from 1962-64. 

Schweickert is Tech’s career leader in rushing yards for a QB (1,723), rushing touchdowns by a QB (22) and 100-yard rushing games by a QB (six).

Michael Vick who only played two seasons for the Hokies in 1999 and 2000, currently sits 60 yards behind Taylor in rushing yards for third place behind Bryan Randall.

Taylor is just three rushing scores behind Vick for second place on that list and Taylor has already tied Vick for second place with four career 100-yard rushing games.

Clearly, from the rushing aspect that sets Vick and Taylor apart as quarterbacks, they have comparable stats.

Taylor likely won’t rush for numbers like those accumulated in his first two seasons, but his passing numbers will likely continue to improve.

At the end of the day you aren’t judged by stats, you’re judged by the number of wins and losses you produce.

As a starter, Taylor is 18-3 for the Hokies including last year’s loss to Florida State when he was injured on the first play of the game.  

Taylor’s winning percentage of .857 ranks second in the Frank Beamer era only to Michael Vick’s .955 mark and a 21-1 record.

Bryan Randall has won the most games under Beamer with 26, but if the Hokies keep winning Tyrod could move into second on the wins list by seasons end.

Tyrod Taylor has been maturing before our collective eyes this season and has turned into a strength for Virginia Tech.

During the remainder of this season and all of next, Taylor will move up the various lists and may well end up on top of many of them.

Right now, he’s proving his skills on the field and coming together to be the kind of player everyone had hoped he was.

As for the Heisman, I don’t think this is Tyrod’s year. The Hokie with the most trophy buzz thus far has been standout tailback Ryan Williams. His strong running coupled with Taylor’s passing has been propelling the Hokies towards something big on the horizon.

A national championship would fill a particular trophy case in the Merryman Center.

Manage that and plenty of trophies will follow.