How I Voted

This was my first year with a Heisman vote and–as you would probably guess–I was honored to have one and took the process very seriously.

The purpose of the site is to analyze the politics of the Heisman race, to cover the campaign for the most prestigious award in sports and break down how it is, not how it should be.  To that end, I don’t endorse any player on this site and try to do my best to present the reality of the race as I see it.  I get emails all the time asking me to influence the race one way or the other, but that is not my role and never will be.

However, now that the votes are in and my opinion will have no bearing on the race, I will now reveal my personal picks for the Heisman.   Keep in mind that there are 925 Heisman voters and they all have their own criteria for choosing the winner.  Unfortunately, there are only three spots on the ballot, so some pretty good players get short shrift.  One thing we have to all remember is that saying one player is great does not necessarily mean another player isn’t.  I believe all the players involved in this year’s race are, at the least, very good.  All of them are, in their own way, deserving of the Heisman.   

My final ballot looked like this:

1. Toby Gerhart

2. Colt McCoy

3. Ndamukong Suh

Why I voted this way

I chose Gerhart because I thought he was simply the most outstanding player I’d seen this year.  He was consistently excellent.  There is nothing to quibble about with his statistics.  His punishing style exemplified his team’s new-found toughness.  At times, he singlehandedly willed his team to wins in what I thought was the toughest conference top to bottom in 2009.  He did all of it while carrying 21 credit hours in school and while carrying the ball a nation-leading 311 times (without fumbling once).     He led the nation in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns while piling up 10 100-yard games and three 200-yard games.  I believe he is going to be a legitimate and productive NFL back.  And I have no doubts about his athleticism, as he is also a major league baseball prospect.

When comparing him to other backs, he came out ahead.  While Ingram is a very good back, nothing about his skill set really jumped out at me.  He’s just solid all around, but to me he lacks the excitement factor when he carries the ball.  Without a doubt, he is a tough, low-to-the-ground back with great feet and instincts.   And he is productive to a point.  But I felt that, while he played well in big games, he wasn’t as consistent as Gerhart was all season.  His statistics reflect that–should he win, he’d have the fewest rushing yards by a Heisman-winning back since 1975.    So, I see Ingram as a good back who could win a Heisman one day, but this year I don’t see him as being particularly worthy.

It was equally tough keeping C.J. Spiller off my ballot.  He does have the excitement factor…and a ton of it at that!  He’s a special talent, but again, he lacked the consistency of Gerhart. 

The first spot on my ballot went to a running back with exemplary stats and skill, so the second spot I reserved for a quarterback who had led his team to great success.  I think Colt McCoy is one of the best college quarterbacks to come around of late and it might be a shame if he never wins a Heisman.  Was his season as good as last year’s?  No.  But I think the pressure he faced week-in and week-out was different for him than for any other candidate.  The burden of coming back as the Heisman runner up for a 12-1 team and then being expected to carry your team to even greater heights is not something to be downplayed.  I thought McCoy handled it all beautifully, had a good season and got his team to the title game.  For that, I gave him my second spot on the ballot.

I chose Ndamukong Suh in third because I felt he deserved some recognition for his dominant season.  His performance against Texas was truly breathtaking.  However, his overall performance on the year didn’t cross my threshhold of Heisman worthiness.  While I think he might be the best player in college football and will prove to be a great pro, I don’t think that he was the ‘most outstanding’ in 2009. 

There it is.  I picked a running back, a quarterback and a defensive lineman.  I’m sure many of you will now rip me for my choices and the reasoning behind them.  I would expect nothing less…after all, this is college football we are dealing with!

About Heismanpundit

Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of Heismanpundit.com, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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43 Responses to How I Voted

  1. Solon December 8, 2009 at 1:24 pm #

    HP–I bust your chops a lot on this site, but you put together a legitimate ballot.

    And whatever anyone says, no one can accuse you of not taking your duties as a Heisman voter seriously!

  2. Marc December 8, 2009 at 1:25 pm #

    I agree with your choices, I’m a huge Longhorn homer, but at least you provided a spectrum of players on your list. Great site by the way.

    HP, I was curious, now that the voting process is over. Who do you think has actually won? I know you had placed Colt as the winner a few days ago, but maybe new media spotlight or voting insight has informed you otherwise. Your thoughts.

  3. Anonymous December 8, 2009 at 1:46 pm #

    From a big Toby fan, I have to say that you’re incorrect about his fumbles- he has fumbled this season (I can remember 3 off the top of my head, maybe more?). Otherwise, spot on reasoning. I think he deserves it, and several of the defensive players he’s trampled probably agree.

  4. TheRealMccoy December 8, 2009 at 2:15 pm #

    Stanford Cardinal at 10:15
    1-10-STAN16 (10:06) Toby Gerhart rushed for 7 yards. Spencer Paysinger recovered a fumble from Toby Gerhart and returned it for -6 yards.

    Next Play

    Oregon Ducks at 10:06
    1-10-STAN29 (9:48) Touchdown. Jeremiah Masoli passed to Jeff Maehl for 29 yards.
    (9:48) Morgan Flint made the extra point.
    OR 14 STAN 24, Plays: 1 Yards: 29 Possession: 00:18.

  5. fubbal December 8, 2009 at 2:19 pm #

    Good pick and excellent arguments. Nice job.

  6. Travis December 8, 2009 at 2:20 pm #

    Shocking to have McCoy on the ballot, let alone 2nd.

  7. TheRealMccoy December 8, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    “Shocking to have McCoy on the ballot, let alone 2nd.”

    Yea…The fact that he led a team WITH NO OTHER OFFENSIVE WEAPONS to a undefeated season…MORE UNDESERVING Talk Please

  8. TheRealMccoy December 8, 2009 at 2:28 pm #

    James Kirkendoll makes that catch, there is no debate who wins the Award. At that point, Mccoy walks away with only 2 INT, 2 TDs (1 rush and 1 pass), 250+ passing, and a double digit win.

  9. Stanford_Fan December 8, 2009 at 2:29 pm #

    I’ve seen Gerhart fumble a couple times this season (which figures, he’s a Yards After Contact kinda guy). In HP’s defense, though, it’s an honest mistake – ESPN doesn’t record any fumbles for his this season: http://espn.go.com/ncf/player/profile?playerId=188524

  10. Ted December 8, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    he does have SOME offensive weapons, they are called Jordan Shipley, and Malcolm Williams who has come along lately. Tre’s not a bad back, its just the oline doesn’t create any holes for him to run through.

  11. Ted December 8, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    espn doesn’t keep track of fumbles on their website, they just say that everyone has none of them.

  12. Cephas December 8, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    “while carrying the ball a nation-leading 311 times (without fumbling once).

    Toby had 5 fumbles on the season. I hope this was not a deciding factor in your voting!!

  13. Solon December 8, 2009 at 2:52 pm #

    Cephas–I only counted 4 fumbles lost for Gerhart (1 each against SJSU, UW, Oregon, and USC). But still, it’s true that he’s lost fumbles this season.

    I’d still say that’s a pretty low number, considering his running style and workload.

  14. Cephas December 8, 2009 at 2:58 pm #

    ASU was fumbled but not a turnover…YOu are correct :)

  15. sandymex December 8, 2009 at 3:38 pm #

    Gerhart had 3 more yards, 4 more fumbles, 4 more losses, 5 fewer wins and 62 more carries than Ingram. HP is so out of it that he thinks Gerhart never fumbled and Ingram doesn’t even deserve a 2nd or 3rd place vote!

  16. Chad December 8, 2009 at 3:44 pm #

    You lost all credibility with McCoy at 2. I think Ingram should win it, but I can see Gerhart getting votes…even though when it’s really analyzed, Gerhart didn’t play the type of defenses Ingram did on a weekly basis. I watched a couple of Stanford games…Gerhart is good, but I wouldn’t say exciting unless it’s just the novelty of his race at the position. Ingram could have had 2,000 rushing yards if he got the same number of carries as Gerhart…and it would have been against stiffer front 7s. Where are you based out of? Is it Oregon? I can see why you wouldn’t think the competition Ingram faced is tougher than Gerhart’s…but it was. Alabama played THREE teams that are CURRENTLY ranked in the BCS top 15…including the former #1 defense in the nation in the last game. Where are Stanford’s opponents currently in the BCS rankings? If that 69 yard screen pass Ingram ran in the SECCG wasn’t exciting, then I don’t know what is. 1. Ingram 2. Gerhart 3. Suh

  17. Brian December 8, 2009 at 3:49 pm #

    So you think Suh is the best player in college football, so of course you vote him #1. Wait, you didn’t? Oh, you don’t think he is “most outstanding”. Okay. That makes perfect sense.

    And McCoy who almost singlehandedly lost his team his conference championship game and played poorly against the two good defenses (Neb and Okla) he faced, you vote 2nd b/c you “reserved a spot for a quarterback”. Genius.

    And you vote Gerhart first but aren’t impressed with Ingram, even though Ingram played in the toughest conference in football and just had 3 TDs and nearly 200 yards of offense against the #1 DEFENSE IN FOOTBALL. That doesn’t impress you. Running wild against Notre Dame, who can’t stop anyone, that impresses you.

    Gerhart had 70 MORE CARRIES than Ingram. 70!!! That’s three full games worth! Why not vote for Case Keenum who wings it around 75 times a game and throws for 500+ yards if you like stats without context?

    Sorry, but your voting logic is completely ridiculous.

  18. Steven December 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm #

    Those of you supporting Ingram over Gerhart:
    —“Ingram could have had 2,000 yards in as many carries.” That’s just it, he didn’t have that many carries. He didn’t show up for EVERY game. Is your argument that Bama just didn’t give him the ball that many times? Well then……

    —In looking at Bama’s #2 and #3 running backs this season, an argument could be made that their stats are similar to Ingram’s. This suggests that Richardson, Bama’s #2, could put up similar numbers.

    —Most of all, those of you supporting Ingram over Gerhart simply have not watched Gerhart play. If he was in the SEC, he would have gotten more love than Tebow this season and that may not be a reach to say. He is amazing to watch. I can’t say that about Ingram.

    —Bama is likely 12-0 without Ingram. Stanford would been about 3-9 without Gerhart.

    It’s not even close, in my opinion.

  19. Bryan December 8, 2009 at 4:32 pm #

    “Where are Stanford’s opponents currently in the BCS rankings?” Ummm . . . 3 in the BCS top 20 and 4 in the top 25. OK, so Alabama has 3 in the top 25, let’s add in Mississippi since they at least got votes in the AP. Toby against the 4 top 25 BCS teams: 620 yards, 10 TD’s. Ingram against 3 top 25 BCS teams and Mississippi: 579 yards, 6 TD’s.

    “Ingram could have had 2,000 rushing yards if he got the same number of carries as Gerhart” Then give your stud player-supposedly the most outstanding player in football- the BALL.

    “Gerhart is good, but I wouldn’t say exciting unless it’s just the novelty of his race at the position.”??? Simply ignorant, blind, and stupid. It was interesting debating stats with you before-and there’s no doubt Ingram’s a great RB-but you need to pull your head out.

  20. Ted December 8, 2009 at 4:42 pm #

    Brian, didn’t Ingram almost singlehandedly lose his team the game against AU, btw it wasn’t colt who almost lost the game against NEB, it was his O-line, and Kirkendoll, who dropped the game-sealing 75 yard td pass with 8 or so minutes left in the 4th quarter. next play:50 yard punt return to texas 10. Later colt has a 65 yard drive starting from his 1 yard line, then Buckner on 3rd and 5, has the ball ripped out of his hands and it ends up being colt’s 3rd pick of the day(would have set up a 45 yard field goal if he caught it). He played GREAT in the 4th quarter on saturday, his receivers almost gave the game away though (and special teams). He probably shouldn’t win the heisman, but he played a WHOLE lot better than Ingram did against auburn, his oline just was poor at stopping suh.

  21. Kevin December 8, 2009 at 4:54 pm #

    Let’s not forget the difference in receptions between Ingram and Gerhart. Ingram had 3x MORE receptions! Ingram also had .6 more yards per carry…which may not sound like much, but definately is. Gerhart is deserving of a top 3 status and so is Ingram. Anyone that does not have them BOTH top 3 is committing a crime. The regional bias and lack of attention to the difference in opponent strength are huge problems with the Heisman.

  22. TheRealMccoy December 8, 2009 at 4:57 pm #

    Kirkendoll who dropped the game-sealing 75 yard td pass with 8 or so minutes left in the 4th quarter.

    THANK YOU….That pump fake and a 75 yrd TD would have been plastered all over ESPN…Headline “Mccoy Seals the deal with 10 pt Big 12 Champ Victory”

  23. Dave December 8, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    HP- surprised you didn’t follow your own “10 rules of the heisman” or whatever that was. Only McCoy and Ingram fit you model.

    If Suh or Gerhart win, either would break your 10 rules. I guess that’s why you predicted mccoy to win. Your model would be re-verified.

  24. Chad December 8, 2009 at 6:03 pm #

    Gerhart is on a 4 loss team. So the whole argument for him is that the team would be even crappier without him? Ingram was watching after halftime in 2-3 games this season because Saban wanted him fresh for a championship run. Obviously Stanford didn’t have to worry about a championship run. I don’t think Gerhart should be bashed…in fact, I have him #2 on my “ballot”…but I’ve watched Ingram all season and I know how tough SEC defenses are. I saw Gerhart against Oregon, USC, and ND. He’s a fine RB…but only Oregon would be a standout game. USC fielded their worst team in a decade…and by the time Stanford played ND, I’m surprised the Irish players even could get motivated to put pads on…not that their defense was worth a crap to begin with. I’d put what Ingram did in the “big” games Bama had against Va Tech, South Carolina, LSU and in the SECCG against the #1 team in the nation (and top ranked defense) against any other candidate. So Ingram has talented backups behind him. He gets knocked because Saban recruits well? That’s silly. It’s well documented how many YAC Ingram has gotten…that’s all him. Gerhart, while a great RB, didn’t face the gauntlet Mark Ingram did. That’s not Gerhart’s fault. I like the guy…I like his personality and the fact he has a high gpa at Stanford…the whole nine yards. But if you look at things objectively…look at the competition, the big games…and, yes, what kind of season that player lead his team to as far as wins and losses…it’s clearly Ingram.

  25. Anonymous December 8, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    HP is an nutsack who knows nothing about football. Who the hell is Toby Gerhart?? A nobody, who did absolutely nothing against nobody competition. I will never take this guy seriously again. Mark Ingram is your clear cut Heisman winner and has been ALL YEAR long. Hope all the rest of the voters aren’t as ignorant as you bitchboy.

  26. Mark December 8, 2009 at 7:29 pm #

    As I understand the Heisman, it is awarded to simply ” the most outstanding college football player ” in a given year.
    By definition, that player’s team, whether championship or not, should not factor into the decision.
    This is an individual award. This year’s race has set up differently than recent races for the Heisman. No one has clearly stepped out on to center stage and took charge.
    Most everything I hear people talking about to defend their positions are objective in nature, i.e. who plays in the tougher conference, who played the tougher schedule, etc. There is no subjective way to answer those kinds of queries.
    So, we’re left with statistics. Which, by the way, is the simple reason Tebow won his Heisman. He was out statted ( I know that’s not a word ) everybody. Darren McFadden was the best football player.
    If I had a vote, it would go to Gerhardt. Gerhardt has Heisman worthy statisitcs. The McCoy. Then Ingram.
    One last word on the Heisman. When Jim Brown didn’t win the award, the Heisman lost credibility. When Peton Manning didn’t win the trophy, it lost relevance.

    Mark

  27. Brian December 8, 2009 at 8:17 pm #

    Mark – why wouldn’t you give the award to Case Keenum? You argue that you have to go by stats b/c they are objective. Nobody has better stats than Keenum. He passed for 5,449 yards, nearly two thousand more than next closest quarterback. So since you only look at stats, clearly Keenum is your guy.

    Correct?

    Also, since stats are the end-all be-all in your world, how do you determine which stats to look at? Ingram has more yard/carry than Gerhart. He has more receiving yards. He has more yards after contact. Are those not important or do you only look at total rushing yards?

    Actually, Ryan Matthews of Fresno State has more yards than Ingram and a better yd/attempt average, so why would you put Ingram 3rd? Objectively, Matthews has better stats. And there are a handful of QBs that have better stats than McCoy, so why do you vote put him 2nd?

    Sorry, but your argument is weak. You are clearly looking beyond stats, as you should. Intelligent people try and weigh all the data they have at their disposal in an attempt to make the best decision they can. People may come to different conclusions based on the data but at least they are thinking. To only look at numbers, without adding any context to those numbers, is dumb. I don’t think you are dumb, I just don’t think you thought through your argument.

  28. Mark December 8, 2009 at 9:10 pm #

    Brian:

    Thanks for not thinking I’m dumb. I’ll be able to sleep tonight. And, thanks for letting me in on the notion that I had not thought my argument through.

    Actually, I’ve thought a lot about the Heisman. Primarily because I live in Alabama and have had to endure Ingram ad nauseum. Ingram does not statistically compare to other running backs who have own the trophy. I know, I know this is only a snapshot award. As we’ve been told countless times down here in Bama you can;t give the Heisman to McCoy or Tebow because it isn’t a career achievement award. I get that.

    Of course everyone makes some sort of subjevtive judgment to come up with three names for their ballot. I thought that was obvious. Things like strength of schedule, conference, etc. figure into the equation to decide who is going to get votes. But, when those three are determined I think statistics are vital.

    That’s why I would vote Gerhart, McCoy, and Ingram. Oh, to the Casey Keenum reference. Keenum is haunted by the fact that another Houston QB, Andre Ware won the trophy. That award was ridiculed by many as rewarding a player for playing in a particular system. That’s one reason why Boise’s QB isn’t seriously considered. System stats. That’s why a Texas Tech QB won’t win the trophy. System stats.

    In the end, there’s no scientific way to determine which player is the best. Now, here’s another piece of subjective criteria — but I don’t even think Ingram is the best back in the SEC. And, he’s certainly not the best player on Alabama’s team ( see Rolando McClain ).

    On second thought, I guess I would change my vote. Gerhart, McCoy, Suh.

    Mark

  29. Nice December 8, 2009 at 9:28 pm #

    Nice thanks for sharing your vote. But, but, but…i love Gerhart number one…but, tonight I heard McCoy on a radio interview and he actually said……get this….”I thought the clock was spossed to stop when the ball passed the first down marker….that was the rule until then”?????? What????? A Heisman candidate QB who doesnt know the basic rules of football…

    PUUUUUUUUUUHLEEEEAAAASSSSSSSSE……now the comments on how the guy is moronic really hold some weight dont ya think?

  30. Anonymous December 8, 2009 at 11:21 pm #

    I really want to know if McCoy has a shot at winning this. I put money on him when Vegas had him as a 3-1 Dog to win it before the Texas A&M Game. Runner up again? Look at the records he broke this year and ultimately got his team to the championship game. Chris your thoughts??

  31. JOHN W December 8, 2009 at 11:25 pm #

    OMG…IF KIRKENDOLL CAUGHT THAT PASS…MCCOY HAD HEISMAN ON LOCKDOWN.

    Two of the 3 picks he threw weren’t even his fault. One was a tip drill and the other the defender took it out of the hands of the receiever going down. COME ON McCoy!

  32. JOHN W December 8, 2009 at 11:26 pm #

    HP

    Now that we know who you have on your ballot..Who do you think will actually win it??

  33. HP December 8, 2009 at 11:39 pm #

    For my pick on who will win and why, click on the big eyeball on the upper left of my site…it’s my Heisman Watch!

    To see how my Heisman panel voted, look beneath the Eye.

  34. Geoff December 9, 2009 at 12:31 am #

    Great post and thoughts HP – I apologize for all the retards you allow to post on your website…

  35. Batman December 9, 2009 at 2:37 am #

    For all the Ingram supporters, how do you defend his 30 yd game against Auburn? Has any Heisman winner had that bad of a game? Gerhart never ran below 80, but Ingram did 3 times! Gerhart actually had the harder defenses than Ingram! Ingram was just a product of his team. It’s not a team award, but an individual award. If Gerhart played for Bama he’d have 2,000 yds and 30 TDs!

  36. Sam December 9, 2009 at 2:57 am #

    Mark,

    That whole you live in Alabama spill was good but spoken like a true Auburn fan. I know this because, first off you spell like a tractor mechanic. If you live in Alabama, then who do you pull for. You Aubies will buddy up with anybody as long as they are against the Tide. Get a real life, a coach, and a team. This is not a life-time achievement award. Also, McClain and Ingram are both fine athletes but are on 2 different sides of the ball. To say that one is a better athlete than the other is ignorant.

  37. Mark December 9, 2009 at 7:22 am #

    Good morning Sam:

    I’ll challenge you to any spelling test you want to take. Typing test, now that would be a different deal.

    Tractor mechanic! Now, that’s funny. I’m Senior Pastor at a Presbyterian Church. And, I’m not an Auburn fan. I’m a lifelong Razorback. Go ahead and bust my chops over that. I’m sure you’ll have a pocketful of Hillbilly jokes about Arkansas. None of which are germain to this conversation.

    I don’t think Ingram is the most outstanding player in football. I still contend he is not even the most outstanding player on his own team.

    I think Gerhart should win the trophy this year. He has had, in my opinion, the most outstanding year. Statistically and otherwise.

    Mark

  38. Anita December 9, 2009 at 9:44 am #

    HP, I appreciate your deliberations on how to vote. Even more, I appreciate your even-handed treatment of the nominees. The personal attacks on these kids by some sportswriters and people posting comments on these boards are sickening.
    Awards are subjective. No one will agree on who should win or why.
    Here’s what is set in stone:
    All of these guys love their teammates, love the universities they represent, and most of all — LOVE the game itself. They’ve devoted a good chunk of their heart and soul to this sport. They deserve some respect, and they have mine.

  39. Wil December 9, 2009 at 10:51 am #

    Wow SEC fans are biased. Gerhart did more in fewer games with less talent around him…… he should win, plain and simple.

    Ingram did not carry his team, the defense did. Put that Defense with Stanford with Gerhart and they are undefeated playing for the national title. Put Stanford’s defense on Alabama with Ingram and they lose all of their close games and end up losing to Va Tech, Tennessee, LSU, and Auburn and don’t even play for the SEC title.

    From a Big 10 fan who hates both the SEC AND the Pac 10.

  40. HP December 9, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    Thanks Anita, for a sanity-filled post.

  41. Anonymous December 10, 2009 at 10:58 am #

    I wish that Gerhart could face 8 sec defenses in the regular season and then play the no.1 defense in the conference game. I bet he would have about half the yards he does if he and Ingram swaped places, Ingram would have twice as many.

  42. Scott December 11, 2009 at 3:18 pm #

    C.J. SPILLER was the best player in the country.

    First-team All-American in 2009 according to Football Coaches Association and others to follow.

    Named Finalist for the Doak Walker Award, first Clemson running back to be a finalist for that award.

    Finished the pre bowl season with one of his best games, he had 20-233 and four touchdowns rushing in the ACC Championship game against Georgia Tech. He had 301 all-purpose running yards, his third 300-yard game of the year. One of just two players with three 300-yard games. No Clemson player had recorded a 300-yard game prior to this year.
    MVP of the ACC Championship game even though Tigers lost the game. Believed to be first player on the losing team to be MVP of a conference championship game.

    Needs 55 receiving yards in bowl game to become first player in ACC history with 1000 yards rushing and 500 receiving in the same year.

    Has 20 touchdowns to set a Clemson record for a season and 50 for his career to tie the Clemson record. He and Tim Tebow are only active FBS players with at least 50 touchdowns scores.

    Set NCAA record for career kickoff returns for touchdowns when he went 88 yards with opening kickoff against South Carolina on November 28. That was his seventh of his career and fourth this year, one off NCAA record for kickoff returns for a touchdown in a season.

    His four kickoff returns for touchdown equal the total for the other 11 ACC teams combined this year.

    Only player in the nation to score at least one touchdown in every game, the streak of 13 straight games ties a Clemson record.

    One of just two players to rush for at least 100 yards against TCU defense this year, the Horned Frogs rank second in the nation in rushing defense and third in total defense. Spiller had 191 yards from scrimmage in that game and 237 all-purpose.

    Averaged an incredible 270 all-purpose yards per game in four games vs. Top 15 teams this year.

    Ranks fourth in the nation in all-purpose yards per game with 193 yards per game.

    Fourth in the nation in kickoff return with a 33.7 average. Also averages 26 yards on punt returns, but doesn’t have enough attempts to qualify for national stats.

    Has established ACC record for all-purpose yards in a season with 2508 and career record with 7416. That total is this best in NCAA history. Needs 349 in bowl game to get NCAA record.

    Named ACC Player of the Week four times, more than any other ACC player.

    Only player in the nation to account for a touchdown five different ways (pass, run, reception, kickoff return, punt return) this season.

    Only running back in the nation this year to throw a touchdown pass, catch a touchdown pass and rush for a score in the same game. He did that at NC State on November 14.

    Had 310 against eighth-ranked Miami in Miami on October 24 in Clemson’s 40-37 victory, then had 312 two weeks later against Florida State.

    Had 165 yards rushing against Florida State and 67 receiving yards for 222 yards from scrimmage in that Clemson victory.

    National Offensive Player of the Week by Walter Camp Foundation for his 310-yard performance against Miami on October 24.

    Joins Reggie Bush as only players in college football history with 3000 yards rushing, 1500 yards in kickoff returns, 1000 in receiving and 500 in punt returns.

    Had a play of at least 60 yards in each of the first seven games this year. Streak ended against Coastal Carolina when he touched ball just five times as he rested an injured toe.

    Has had a touchdown of at least 58 yards in eight of the 13 games (60 yard catch against TCU did not score). And he has achieved a 58-yard play four different ways. Has three kickoff returns, three pass receptions, a punt return and two runs of at least 60 yards this year.

    Has nine touchdown plays of 50 yards or more this year, the same total Tim Brown had in his entire career at Notre Dame.

    Clemson has an average starting field position advantage of 15 yards (own 39 vs. own 24 for opponents) after a kickoff this year. Opponents have had 20 squib kicks against Clemson this year to keep ball away from Spiller.

    Has 21 career touchdowns of 50 yards or more, including nine this year. Has 10 touchdowns of 80 yards or more in his career.

    Ranks third in Clemson history in rushing with 3480, 11th in receptions (120), first in kickoff returns (2005). He has recorded these numbers while serving three years as a part time player with James Davis. C.J. has started just 18 games in his career.

    Became just sixth player in ACC history with 3000 yards rushing and 1000 yards receiving when he went over 3000 rushing yards in win over Florida State.

    Will graduate in three-and-a-half years on December 17, 2009. Made first-team Academic All-ACC last year when he made the Dean’s List. First Clemson running back to make first-team Academic All-ACC and first-team All-ACC on the field in same year in school history.

    Owns or is tied for 29 Clemson records, including four ACC records and two NCAA.

    Spiller Records

    NCAA (3)

    Most Kickoff Returns for Touchdowns in a Career, 7
    Most Kick Returns for Touchdowns in a Career, #8
    Most Combined All-Purpose Yards by Teammates in a Career: 11,093 (with Jacoby Ford)

    ACC (4)

    Most Kickoff Returns for Touchdown in a Career, 7
    Most Kick Returns for Touchdown in a Career, 8
    Most All-Purpose Running Yards in a Career, 7,416
    Most All-Purpose Running Yards in a Season, 2,508 in 2009

    Clemson (31)

    Most All-Purpose Running Yards in a Career, 7,416
    Most All-Purpose Running Yards/Game in a Career, 145.3
    Most All-Purpose Running Yards in a Season, 2,508 in 2009
    Games Accounting for a Touchdown Passing, Rushing and Receiving: #1, 2009
    Most All-Purpose Running Yards in a Game: 312 vs. Florida State, 2009
    Most 300-yard All-Purpose Running Games in a Season: 3 in 2009
    Most 300-yard All-Purpose Running Games in a Career: 3
    Most Consecutive 200-yard All-Purpose Games, 3 in 2009
    Most 200-yard All-Purpose Running Games in a Career, 8
    Most 200-yard All-Purpose Running Games in a Season, 6 in 2009
    Most Different Ways Accounting for a Touchdown, #5
    Most Different Ways Recording a 100-yard Game in a Career, 4
    Most Touchdown Plays of 50 Yards or More in a Season, 9 in 2009
    Most Touchdown Plays of 50 Yards or More in a Career, 21
    Most Touchdown Plays of 80 yards or More in a Career, 11
    Most Receptions in a Career by a Running Back: 120
    Most Reception Touchdowns by a Running Back: 11
    Most Reception Yards in a Career by a Running Back, 1,362
    Most Reception Yards by a Running Back in a Season, 445 in 2009
    Most Receptions in a Game by a Running back, 7 vs. Duke in 2008
    Yards per Carry in a Season (Minimum 400 Yards), 7.3 in 2006
    Consecutive Games with a Play of 60 Yards or More: 7 in 2009
    Most Kickoff Returns for Touchdown in a Career, 7
    Most Kickoff Returns for Touchdown in a Season, 4 in 2009
    Most Kick Returns for Touchdown in a Career, $8
    Most Kick Returns for Touchdown in a Season, 5 in 2009
    Most Touchdowns in a Season, 20 in 2009
    Consecutive Games Scoring a Touchdown, #13 in 2009
    Most Yards from Scrimmage in a Season, 1,560 in 2009
    Most Points in a Season, 122 in 2009
    Most Touchdowns in a Career, #50

    # – tied record
    $ – ties NCAA record

    Honors and Awards in 2009

    Doak Walker Award Semifinalist
    ACC Player of the Year
    MVP of the ACC Championship Game
    First-Team All-American by AFCA
    First-Team All-American by Walter Camp
    National Semifinalist for Walter Camp Player of the Year
    National Offensive Player of the Week vs. Miami (FL) by Walter Camp Foundation, Oct. 24, 2009
    National Offensive Player of the Week vs. Miami (FL) by Rivals.com, Oct. 24, 2009
    ACC Specialist of the Week vs. Miami (FL) and Middle Tennessee
    ACC Offensive Back of the Week vs. FLorida State and N.C. State
    #2 in voting for AT&T All-American of the Week for Miami (FL), Oct. 24, 2009
    National Kickoff returner of the Week by College Football Performances Awards vs. Miami (FL), Middle Tennessee and South Carolina

    NCAA Rankings in 2009

    #1 in Nation in Kickoff Returns for Touchdowns, 4
    #1 in Nation in Consecutive Games Scoring a Touchdown, 13
    #4 in Nation in Kickoff Return Average, 33.7
    #4 in Nation in All-Purpose Yards per Game, 193
    #5 in Nation in Total Touchdowns, 20
    #12 in Nation in Scoring, 9.38 Points/Game

    Spiller by the Numbers
    2 – Spiller is one of just two players in college football history with 3000 yards rushing, 1500 yards in kickoff returns, 1000 yards receiving and 500 in punt returns. The other player to do it is former Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush.

    3.5 – Spiller’s grade point average in the fall semester of 2008 when he made academic All-ACC and All-ACC on the field. He is scheduled to graduate December 17, 2009, just three and a half years after he entered Clemson.

    4 – Spiller’s national ranking in all-purpose yards per game (184). Would be at 198 yards per game had he not played against Coastal Carolina. He had just five touches in that game and gained 27 yards as he rested an injured toe. Three of his top four games have come against top 15 teams (time of the game) TCU, Georgia Tech and Miami (FL). He had over 200 against TCU and Georgia Tech, and over 300 against Miami.

    5 – Number of different ways Spiller has accounted for a touchdown this year. He has rushed for six, had four reception touchdowns, had three kickoff returns for scores and one punt return. He also had his first touchdown pass of the season and second of his career against NC State on November 14.

    6.58 – Spiller’s career best in the 60-meter dash. He is a three-time All-American in track at Clemson.

    7 – Spiller had his seventh career touchdown on a kickoff return when he had an 88-yarder for a score at South Carolina on November 28. That set an NCAA record for career kickoff returns for touchdowns. The previous record was six held by former Southern California great Anthony Davis (1972-74) and Ashlan Davis of Tulsa (2004-05).

    9 – Spiller has had nine touchdowns of 50 yards or more this year. He has nine plays of at least 58 yards, one in each game in the first seven games of the year. Showing his versatility, he has done these plays four different ways, a run, a pass reception, a kickoff return and a punt return. Spiller has as many touchdowns of 50 yards or more this year as Tim Brown had in his entire career at Notre Dame.

    10.22 – Spiller’s career best in the 100 meters for the Clemson track team. He and teammate Jacoby Ford were on Clemson’s All-America 4 X100 meter team last year.

    11 – Number of touchdown plays of 80 yards or more for Spiller over his career. He is the only player in Clemson history with 11 touchdown plays of 80 yards or more.

    12 – Number of consecutive games with at least one touchdown this year. Spiller is the only player in the nation at the FBS level to score at least one touchdown in every game this year.

    21 – Number of touchdown plays for C.J. Spiller in his career of at least 50 yards. The record for this category before he came to Clemson was just seven (by Derrick Hamilton, 2001-03). Teammate Jacoby Ford is second in school history in this category with eight.

    26 – Number of Clemson records Spiller has established in his career.

    46 – Spiller’s career touchdown total, the third highest total in Clemson history. He has 27 rushing, 11 on receptions, seven on kickoff returns and one on a punt return. He has also thrown two touchdown passes. He needs five touchdowns to tie the school record for a career.

    119 – Spiller has 119 career receptions, more than any other running back in school history. He broke the record when he had three catches for 67 yards against Florida State on November 7. He also has the school record for reception yards by a running back (1357) and reception touchdowns by a back (11).

    310 – Spiller’s all-purpose yardage total against Miami (FL) on October 24. That established a Clemson single game record and is tied for the best performance by an individual nationally in 2009.

    312 – Spiller’s all-purpose yardage total against Florida State on November 7, breaking his own school record just two weeks after he had established it.

    2207 – All-purpose running yards Spiller has so far this year, an all-time ACC record. Thomas Jones of Virginia (1999) had the previous mark with 2054.

    7115 – All-purpose yards for Spiller in his Clemson career, the fifth highest total in NCAA history.

    Comparison of All-Purpose Players in Final Seasons

    It is difficult to quantify the all-around accomplishments of Clemson running back C.J. Spiller this year and over his career. He became the ACC’s career leader at Maryland when he had 176 all-purpose yards and now has 7115 for his career.

    Spiller is averaging 184 yards per game this year and became just the fifth player in NCAA history to go over 7000 yards when he returned a kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown at South Carolina on November 28.

    Spiller’s impact on the game can be compared with some previous Heisman winners, or near Heisman winners who handled the ball as all-purpose players. Below is a comparison of season and career stats for Spiller, Tim Brown (Notre Dame 1984-87), Rocket Ismail (Notre Dame 1988-90), Desmond Howard (Michigan 1989-91) and Reggie Bush (Southern California, 2003-05).

    So far this year, Spiller is averaging 184 yards per game. Only Bush and his 222.3 average during the 2005 season, is higher. Spiller would be at 198 per game had he not played against Coastal Carolina. He had just 27 yards in that game as he played just a few plays due to the nature of the score and a recurring toe injury.

    Brown averaged 173.4 in 1987, his Heisman year, and Ismail averaged 156.4 in 1990, the year he finished second in the Heisman balloting. Howard averaged 155 yards per game in 1991 when he won the Heisman.

    Spiller has 21 touchdowns of 50 yards or more in his career, including seven this year. Ismail had 13, Reggie Bush had 13, and Tim Brown had nine. Spiller now has as many 50-yard touchdowns this year as Tim Brown had for his entire Notre Dame career.

    Spiller has five kick returns for touchdowns this year, four on kickoffs and one on a punt. All have been at least 77 yards in length.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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