Heisman Trophy: Which Player Is Deserving of College Football's Greatest Honor?
On December 10, 2011, the 75th Heisman Trophy will be awarded in New York City. The five candidates are all worthy of college football's greatest award.
Trent Richardson, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Montee Ball and Tyrann Mathieu will gather to see which player is designated as the most outstanding college football player in the United States on Saturday night.
Here is a list of my predictions for the 2011 Heisman Trophy ceremony.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Sophomore cornerback Tyrann Mathieu has been a game breaker all season long for the No. 1 LSU Tigers. Mathieu has 71 tackles, 1.5 sacks and two picks, but his major contributions come when he gets the ball in his hands on special teams. Mathieu is averaging nearly 13 yards per punt return and has 4 touchdowns on 33 returns.
The sophomore is a long shot to win the Heisman and many believe Mathieu does not belong in New York City, but the LSU star is just as deserving as many of the other candidates.
It is a great accomplishment for Mathieu, a defensive player, to just make it to the finals for an award that is largely won by offensive players.
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
The Wisconsin runningback is extremely underrated in my opinion. Montee Ball has 1,759 yards and 32 touchdowns on the ground this season. Ball is not only a great rusher, but has been a great receiver as well. The junior back also has 255 yards receiving and six receiving touchdowns.
Montee Ball should probably have a lot more hype than he does, but he has been overlooked throughout the season. Look for Ball to probably get overlooked again in a very deserving field of candidates and come in fourth place.
If the Badgers were undefeated and in the National Championship Game, Ball might be the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Andrew Luck has been the Heisman Trophy favorite since he decided to return for his senior season last spring. The Stanford senior has led the Cardinal offensive attack with 3,170 yards passing and 35 touchdowns.
Many consider Luck the favorite in the Heisman race, but I believe his inability to lead his team to victory against Oregon will ultimately cost him. Luck still has an outstanding chance of winning on Saturday night, and has had a great senior season at Stanford.
Robert Griffin III
Sarah Glenn/Getty Images
Baylor junior Robert Griffin III has always been looked at this season as a possibility to make the Heisman ceremony on Saturday night, but now he may be a favorite.
The Bears' quarterback has been sensational all season, racking up 3,998 yards passing and 36 touchdowns. Griffin has also accounted for nine rushing touchdowns on the season.
The junior quarterback made his major statement for the Heisman when he led Baylor to an upset win over Oklahoma on November 19. In that game, Griffin recorded 479 yards passing and four touchdowns as the Bears beat the Sooners 45-38.
Do not be surprised if Griffin walks away with the hardware on Saturday thanks to his late-season heroics.
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
Trent Richardson is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy when Saturday night rolls around. In 2009, Alabama running back Mark Ingram became the first player from the University of Alabama to win the Heisman Trophy, and Richardson looks to be the second.
Many of Richardson's numbers are better than the numbers Ingram posted in his Heisman season. The Alabama junior has lead his team to the National Championship Game with 1,583 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns on the season.
I expect the Crimson Tide to have their second Heisman Trophy winner by the end of Saturday night, but right now it appears to be completely "up for grabs".