The perils of defensive candidates

Consider last weekend a teachable moment as to why defensive players can’t win the Heisman. The two names most bandied about in recent weeks have been Manti Te’o of Notre Dame and Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina.

First, read this recap of Notre Dame’s win over Stanford. Te’o’s name doesn’t appear until three-quarters of the way down. Unless you watched the game closely, you really have no idea what impact Te’o had. The summary offers no solace.

And this recap of South Carolina’s loss to LSU barely mentions Clowney.

Meanwhile, look at this recap of Kansas State’s win over Iowa State. It starts:

Kansas State‘s offense is at its best when quarterback Collin Klein has the ball in his hands as much as possible.

The Wildcats defense doesn’t mind it either.

Klein ran for 105 yards and three touchdowns and sixth-ranked Kansas State held off Iowa State 27-21 for its fifth straight win over the Cyclones.”

The media has a propensity to highlight offensive players in news write-ups and game summaries. It’s up to the columnists to remind us that defenders are people, too.

That might get a defensive player to New York, but it won’t win him the Heisman.

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About Heismanpundit

Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, 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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