Longing for the day when Heisman voters think outside the box
If he reaches the end zone for the fourth time in his career, Nebraska defensive tackle
"Do I strike the pose?" Suh said. "No, I do not. I do not strike the pose."
With that vaguely Suess-ish answer, Suh scuttled the notion he might channel
Which is unfortunate, because even in an era when television and the Internet take fans
Obviously, this might not be the best year to make this argument. Florida quarterback
Tebow, Bradford and McCoy were excellent choices last year, but an equally excellent choice didn't even finish in the top 10. Offensive tackle
In 2001, when Heisman voters had no clear favorite and Nebraska quarterback
So bless Tennessee for mounting a campaign for safety
Since 1980, when Pitt defensive end
Let us dream for a moment that Heisman voters collectively began appreciating all 22 positions. What positions would get added to the usual mix? The offensive line positions are probably out, for two major reasons.
The first, Alabama offensive guard
Florida State offensive line coach
The new breed of five-tool safeties could make a dent. Tennessee is touting Berry, who is fast enough to cover any receiver one-on-one and vicious enough to blast a charging tailback. Berry also has a nose for the ball and is plenty elusive once he gets it. The junior needs only 15 more interception return yards to break
On the other side of the safety spectrum stand USC's
Since Heisman winners are expected to take over games, defensive tackle might be the best position to follow. No other position on the defense allows such a direct impact on every snap. Trickett explained a dominant defensive tackle can completely alter the course of a game. He cited the example of
But here's why defensive tackles don't get considered for the Heisman. Raji finished with one tackle that night for a nine-yard loss. That was his entire stat line. Yet Trickett, who has forgotten more football strategy than most Heisman voters will ever know, considers Raji the most important player in that game.
To understand why defensive tackles should be considered just as heavily as quarterbacks and tailbacks, consider what they can do to an offense, often without making a single tackle. Commentators often praise interior linemen for "blowing up" plays, but that description isn't accurate. They don't make plays explode. They make them implode.
Let's imagine Nebraska's Suh is facing Kansas in a game that could decide the Big 12 north title, and Suh decides to take over. If Kansas is foolish enough to try to block Suh with one lineman, Suh will either beat him with a rip or swim move or bull rush the poor Jayhawk into the backfield. If the play is a run, the back will have to alter his course, allowing Nebraska defenders more time to grab him. If the play is a pass, quarterback
More likely, Suh will be double-teamed. Every once in a while, he'll split that double-team and wreak havoc. More often, the concentration of resources on Suh will allow teammates
Unfortunately, Suh is not much of a self-promoter. He's still mad at himself for throwing the ball after he returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown against Colorado last season. So don't expect a Heisman pose from him. And don't expect most Heisman voters -- who seem incapable of thinking inside the tackle box -- to notice him or any other lineman.
"It seems out of reach," Suh said. "Since I've been watching the Heisman, it's usually been a quarterback, a running back or someone in an elite skill position. I don't see myself being put in that view.
"But I'm not opposed to it."