He has the numbers. He has the highlights. He has whatever this “it” factor is everybody talks about but nobody can explain. But if there’s one thing lacking from this Heisman campaign for Lamar Jackson, there’s no clear ‘Heisman moment.’ Many former Heisman winners had a play or a game where we said, “yep, there’s your Heisman winner.” Here are a few:
2015: In a clash of the titans, Heisman front-runner Leonard Fournette went head-to-head with Derrick Henry. Outcome: 31 yards and a TD for Fournette, 210 yards and three TD’s for Henry. Here’s the game highlights if you care.
2012: This play put Manziel on the Heisman map. Beating Alabama put Manziel at the highest point on that map. Playing for the Cleveland Browns put Manziel into rehab.
2011: RG3 upsets Oklahoma in the final seconds. I miss this RG3.
2010: Cam Newton destroys South Carolina in the SEC Championship. For the entire season, I could have put “Cam Newton destroys _________ University.”
2008: You’re lying if you thought Sam Bradford could do this?
2007: Tim Tebow’s seven touchdowns vs South Carolina put Tebow in the Heisman drivers seat in which he drove all the way to NYC then to the minor leagues.
2005: Reggie Bush showcasing that “it” factor nobody can explain.
2002: #7 ranked Notre Dame was beaten down by #6 USC thanks to future Heisman winner Carson Palmer’s 425 passing yards and four TD’s. Here’s the video if you have 8 minutes to kill. (Turn volume off, music is brutal)
2001: It’s not everyday a quarterback has a 95-yard TD run. Eric Crouch ladies and gentlemen.
2000: Everybody loves a good play-action pass. (Wait for the replay at about 1:10 for full effect). Chris Weinke won the Heisman at 73 years old.
1999: Ron Dayne breaks the rushing record and wins a Heisman in the same year (Donnel Pumphrey 2016?). And contrary to popular belief, this is not a video from Tecmo Bowl.
1998: Deja vu. Ricky Williams sets the all-time rushing record and wins the Heisman in the same year. (Donnel Pumphrey 2016?)
1997: Charles Woodson, the most dynamic Heisman winner of all-time in his element. (Best part about this video is the announcers pumping up OSU’s punter, Bartholemew moments before disaster.)
1995: Rushing for 314 yards and three TD’s in Mid-November, I’d say that’s a pretty decent Heisman moment.
1994: The announcer on this video does the work for me all while sounding like ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’ narrator.
1993: Can a moment be an entire game? It sure can. Here’s 3+ hours of your life you can’t have back thanks to Charlie Ward.
1991: Desmond Howard made it cool to return punts against OSU before Charles Woodson did.
1990: If these highlights and game doesn’t remind you of Johnny Football against Alabama, nothing will. I do understand comparing Manziel to Detmer of BYU is an oxymoron at its highest capacity, but both guys beat a seemingly unbeatable #1 team by creating magic in and around the pocket. Just watch.
1998: Barry Sanders’ football career is one big Heisman moment. Impossible to narrow down one single space in time during a season he ran for 2,628 yards and 37 TD’s. So here’s some highlights.
1987: Tim Brown, unofficially the first and only Heisman winner to have won strictly because of his punt returning. He was a really good wide receiver, I’m aware. He also had as many punt return TD’s as receiving TD’s (3) in 1987.
1985: Bo Jackson, Tecmo’s all-time greatest player was pretty good in real life as well. Commentary for this play pretty much summed up Bo’s Heisman campaign and college career.
1984: Doug Flutie. You already know the play.
1983: “Mike Rozier shows why he’s Heisman Trophy material.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.
1982: Hershel Walker is in the same ballpark as Barry Sanders. Too good, too often to narrow it down to one play. So here’s highlights.
That seems like a good place to stop. Walk away while still on top is what we do on HeismanWatch.com.
Of all the 2016 Heisman hopefuls, what was their ‘Heisman moment’ or has it not happened yet? And which one of these moments was your favorite?
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