In our second addition of Hardware Hunt, we’ll look at how each of our potential candidates did last weekend and whether their stock is up, down or holding steady. Like my picks? Hate them? Have your own suggestions? Feel free to chime in on the conversation using Twitter or Facebook.
The state of Texas has had great luck winning college football’s ultimate individual award in the past few seasons. Twice in the last five years the Lone Star State has brought the trophy home, first with Baylor’s Robert Griffin III and, the very next year, by Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel. The spurt was unusual for Texas schools, as throughout the history of the Heisman Trophy, Texas has been lucky to see the award once a decade.
So, can Texas add more another winner to their best decade of Heisman success ever? Here’s a look at some possible candidates to continue the streak (alphabetical order by last name):
Trevone Boykin, TCU, Stock Up: Boykin was an absolute beast against Iowa State last Saturday. Get this – Boykin only missed five throws throughout the entire game. FIVE. With the Cyclones leading after the first quarter and the game only having a three-point margin at half, the Horned Frog defense came through big, posting a shutout over the final three quarters of play. However, there is no question that Boykin shined the brightest on this day. Finishing 27 of 32 passing for 436 yards and four scores, Boykin averaged an insane 13.6 yards per attempt. Coupled with no interceptions, his QBR was an astounding 97.9. On the ground, Boykin added another 74 yards on 13 carries with another TD. While I have maintained that the Frogs will have to go undefeated for Boykin to continue as a strong Heisman contender, TCU will have every chance to win their remaining games as long as their starting QB continues at this level of play.
Corey Coleman, Baylor, Stock Up: I mentioned in the first edition of Hardware Hunt that Corey is a longshot, at best, due to his position. However, if he continues to play at his other-worldly level, he will be the best WR candidate for the Heisman since it was won by WR Desmond Howard in 1991. In Saturday’s contest against West Virginia, Coleman did it all. Whether, catching long bombs, taking short screens for long gains or juking defenders to the ground, we got to see it. Coleman’s performance was so great, WVU’s head coach Dana Holgorsen said, “[He’s] the best player in college football. You can put me on record for that." Coleman finished the game with a season-high 10 receptions for (another season-high) 199 yards and three scores. In the process of averaging 19.9 yards per reception, Coleman broke Baylor’s school record for receiving scores in a season. Oh right, he managed the feat in just six games.
Myles Garrett, Texas A&M, Stock Holding: Like Coleman, Garrett is a gigantic longshot. After the Aggies’ loss to Alabama, he may not even have a chance. The sad part about that is, if you just counted his performance on the field, his stock would be up this week. Garrett ranks top-five nationally in tackles for loss, forced fumbles and sacks. He currently has 30 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, two pass breakups, three forced fumbles and a blocked kick. Garrett is the most impactful defensive player in the country and he is just a sophomore.
Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech, Stock Down: With the Red Raiders already having accumulated two losses this season, Mahomes would have had to had a flawless season to make it to New York, which, up to last week, he had more or less done. However, what should have been a stat-padding outing against winless Kansas, turned into a dogfight. Mahomes finished 29 of 50 for 354 yards, one pick and one score. His QBR of 55.7 was just what it sounds like – average. On the ground Mahomes numbers were even worse with 13 carries for 29 yards, although those were hurt by Tech’s worst sack-total of the season. One more loss or another outing like this and Mahomes will be off the list until next season.
Seth Russell, Baylor, Stock Up: Russell had the best outing of any player in Week 7 as he accounted for 540 total yards and six scores. With Baylor facing their best competition to date, Russell produced his best performance to date. Completing 20 of 33 passes for 380 yards with five scores and no interceptions while running 14 times for 160 yards and another score, Russell proved he was lethal through the air or on the ground. Now firmly established as the second best dual-threat QB in the Baylor’s Art Briles era (behind just RGIII), Russell is looking at a likely trip to New York. The only sad part about that is, the more Seth accomplishes, the less likely we are to see a Texas WR win college football’s most prestigious award.
Greg Ward Jr., Houston, Stock Holding: Normally accounting for 299 yards and four scores would be enough to bump any player’s stock up, especially if that player didn’t play a full game due to it being a blowout. However, in the case of Greg Ward, this game was just average and, if you count his interception and the Cougars weak schedule, this performance almost puts his stock in the downward trending category. Alas, as the best player on a still undefeated team, Ward gets the benefit of the doubt and stays in a holding pattern this week.
This article was written and researched by Ryan Sprayberry, Collections and Exhibits Manager at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame