2010 Heisman Watch: LSU's Patrick Peterson Deserves Recognition

Brett StephenAnalyst IISeptember 28, 2010

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Patrick Peterson #7 of the Louisiana State Univeristy Tigers celebrates after scoring a touchdown by posing as the Heisman Trophy against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Tiger Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The last and only time a defensive player won the Heisman trophy was Charles Woodson in 1997 after leading the Michigan Wolverines to a national championship.

In 2009, Ndamukong Suh had a spectacular season definitely worthy of the award but was beat out by Alabama’s Mark Ingram, who also led his team to a national championship.

LSU’s Patrick Peterson in all likelihood will not be hoisting a national championship trophy in the 2010 season, but could he be hoisting the Heisman trophy instead?

Peterson is definitely among the most elite and dynamic players in college football and should be mentioned with the likes of Ingram and Michigan’s Denard Robinson.

Peterson has long been known as a dominant cornerback with very few opposing quarterbacks even testing him and now he has emerged as an elite returner on both kickoffs and punts, ranking among the best in the nation.

Peterson’s 257 combined return yards against UNC in the season opener was second best in SEC history.

Elite return men come and go but a guy that is elite at both returns and cornerback is a special talent.  Guys like Charles Woodson, Adam “Pacman” Jones and Devin Hester are all phenomenal players of this caliber, but none of them come close to the physical presence of Peterson, who is 6’1” 215lbs and still moves at 4.37 speed.

Undoubtedly the most valuable player on the LSU roster, Peterson has been an electric game changer early in the season for the Tigers. 

Peterson definitely deserves mention as a Heisman candidate and should he continue to play as he is right now should be a hands-down favorite to win the award.

The question becomes whether or not the Heisman voters can get off of the Big Ten and Terrelle Pryor bandwagon long enough to see the talent in the rest of the country and whether or not they can put offensive stats aside and consider a defensive player. 

The award is for the best college football player and in 2010 that guy is LSU Tiger Patrick Peterson.