It’s not really a surprise that Steve Spurrier had Jadeveon Clowney on his Heisman ballot last year. After all, Clowney did finish sixth in the overall vote and the big end is one of Spurrier’s players.
I find this quote from Spurrier pretty interesting, though:
“It’s hard for a defensive player to do a whole lot. He had the big hit against Michigan, and other than that, their offensive tackle blocked him pretty well. When you’ve got a couple of guys blocking one guy, it’s hard to take over a ballgame.”
This quote goes to the heart of why it will always be next-to-impossible for a defensive player to win the Heisman. Here we get an admission that, other than the spectacular play, Clowney was blocked pretty well by Michigan’s tackle. And when he was double-teamed, it made it that much harder.
This is what Clowney must overcome. Not only is it hard for him to affect a game from his position, he will also be schemed against when he DOES start to affect a game. What do you do when Clowney beats your tackle for two early sacks? You double team him and then maybe you don’t hear from him again.
Meanwhile, the quarterback touches the ball on every play. A running back might get 30 touches.
A defensive end only has a couple moments to shine. Unless he makes the most of them, then he is put on the back burner.