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Heismanpundit Player of the Week: Sammy Watkins

I first discovered Sammy Watkins during Clemson’s 38-24 win over Auburn earlier in the year.

It struck me right away that he was no ordinary freshman receiver.

In fact, I think he might be the best freshman receiver I’ve ever seen. His combination of speed, running ability, size, strength, hands, football intelligence and what I like to call ‘magic’ is off the charts.

He displayed all of it to full effect in Clemson’s 56-45 victory over Maryland last Saturday.

Watkins caught 8 passes for 105 yards, including two impressive touchdown grabs at critical junctures of the game. He also ran for 33 yards on one carry and totaled 207 yards on five kick returns, including an 89-yard return for a touchdown that broke Maryland’s back.

All in all, three touchdowns and 345 all-purpose yards, a Clemson record.

For this, he gets Heismanpundit’s Player of the Week honors.

I have a feeling it won’t be the last time.

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Heismanpundit Player of the Week: Logan Thomas

Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas has had to put up with inane preseason comparisons.

After all, he’s 6-6 and 250 pounds.  Know who else was that size?  Cam Newton!

The thinking by some out there was, well, then he should be just as good as Newton.

This train of thought casts aside the importance that the Gus Malzahn scheme played in Newton’s success. In reality, you can’t just plug a big guy in any system and expect those kind of numbers. Furthermore, experience and maturity matters at the quarterback position.

And that’s been the case for Thomas, a sophomore who has been spotty in his first year as a starter for the Hokies.

But if his breakout performance against Miami last week is any indication, he’s on his way to being a pretty good player…just not a Heisman Trophy winner any time soon.

He was 23 of 25 for 310 yards and 3 touchdown passes against the Hurricanes and he also ran for two scores, including the 19-yard game winner with 56 seconds out as the Hokies won in dramatic fashion, 38-35.

For that, he is Heismanpundit’s Player of the Week.

If Logan can keep this up, don’t count Virginia Tech out of the ACC title picture just yet.


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Heismanpundit Player of the Week: Ray Graham

Pitt’s Ray Graham ran for 226 yards and 2 touchdowns on 26 carries to lead the Panthers to a 44-17 rout of South Florida last Thursday.

For this, Graham is Heismanpundit’s Player of the Week.

We’ve always liked Graham’s potential here at HP. We liked him better last year than his more highly-touted teammate, Dion Lewis. He’s likely to be a future high NFL draft pick, so the temptation was there to put Graham on our early-season watch list, but we worried that his team’s struggles might pull him down.

There’s no doubt he’s got the talent to put up one of the best season’s in Pitt history.  He’s currently third nationally in rushing with 146.8 yards per game and he is second nationally in carries per game with 25.2.

At this pace, he’ll end up with 1,764 yards and 19 touchdowns. Not too shabby.

If he ends up having that kind of season, he’ll look back at this week as the week that really got things going.

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Heismanpundit Player of the Week: Bernard Pierce

Did anyone see it coming?

Temple’s 38-7 win over a Maryland team that beat Miami and gave West Virginia a battle was certainly one of the more unexpected results of the early season.

A big reason for the win was the outstanding play of junior running back Bernard Pierce, who ran for 149 yards and 5 touchdowns on 32 carries.

For his effort, Pierce is Heismanpundit’s Player of the Week.

Pierce is averaging 124 yard per game, good for 10th nationally and he leads the nation in scoring with 12 touchdowns.

For those keeping score at home, he’s on pace for 36 TDs.

Not that I expect that to happen, but if it did, you might see him figuring prominently in the Heisman discussion down the road.

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Heismanpundit Player of the Week: Lamar Miller

It’s easy to forget the Miami Hurricanes these days, especially with the NCAA cloud hanging over the program.

But there’s still a bunch of talent in place down in Coral Gables.  And, last weekend, it went head to head with another troubled program in Ohio State.

Let’s just say that it’s not every day that the Buckeyes get worked like they did against the Hurricanes. The final score was 24-6 in favor of Miami and one reason for that result was the play of ‘Canes running back Lamar Miller, who gets this week’s nod as’s Player of the Week.

Miller, a sophomore, is blessed with track speed (10.50 in the 100m as a high school senior) and it showed against OSU. He rushed for 184 yards on 26 carries, an average of over 7 yards a pop.

Despite all the issues with the Buckeye offense, the defense is just as talented as ever, so to run up this kind of yardage is pretty impressive.

After this game, Miller stands third nationally in rushing (second in all-purpose yardage), averaging 151 yards per outing. He is improving fast as a running back and may end up being one of the few bright spots in an otherwise spotty Miami season.

We’ll keep an eye on Miller.  You should, too. He’s got a bright future.

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Heismanpundit Player of the Week: Tyler Bray

Tennessee sophomore quarterback Tyler Bray is off to a hot start in 2011.

He went 17 of 24 for 293 yards and three touchdowns against Montana in week one, but it was his performance in the Volunteers’ 45-23 win over Cincinnati that has earned him the Heismanpundit Player of the Week honor for Week 2 of the 2011 season.

The 6-6, 210-pound Bray, who might have the quickest release in all of college football, threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns on 34 of 41 passing against the Bearcats. He is completing 79 percent of his passes and has yet throw an interception this year.

More importantly, he appears to have the Tennessee offense on the right track after several years of struggles.

While Bray is a few more games like this away from being a legit Heisman candidate, he is off to a great start.

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Heismanpundit’s Player of the Week: Robert Griffin III

One player made a huge move in the Heisman race on the opening weekend of 2011.  We’re talking Robert Griffin III of Baylor.

Griffin was 21 of 27 for 359 yards and 5 touchdowns in a thrilling 50-48 win over TCU on Friday night.

The season is young, but it’s going to be hard to top that game as far as drama and memorable plays go.

In fact, Griffin also owns the Play of the Year in this young season and I wager it will probably remain such the rest of the way.

I’m talking Griffin’s remarkable reception on a seam route (when do you see that by a QB?) that gave Baylor a key first down on its game-winning drive.  Despite getting sandwiched by two defenders, he held on to the ball.

For all this, Griffin is Heismanpundit’s Player of the Week for this week.  He is a legit Heisman candidate and one we’ll be keeping a close eye on as the season progresses.

Note: One way to keep a close eye on Griffin is to check out his new web site:  It’s one of the most well-done Heisman sites I’ve seen.

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