by Rick Istvan | The idiom from A-Z has a very simple meaning. The phrase refers to the beginning to the end and everything in between.
Stats or fiction
When you are scouting a player, you want to look at all of the players’ statistics and attributes. The hopes are that these stats are going to be indicative of how the player will perform at the next level. When considering the quarterback, there are at least 15 key elements that evaluators take into consideration. A few of those stats are as follows: pass attempts, completions, completion percentage, touchdowns, interceptions, and a partridge in a pear tree. However, after examining all these things, why don’t some give credit where credit is due? Unless you come from a Power 5 conference, you’re overlooked. However, if you dig deeper, sometimes you will find that diamond in the rough.
The Brady hunch
In 1999 there was a football player in Ann Arbor Michigan named Tom Brady. At 6’4 225lbs there wasn’t anything particularly glaring about Brady. In his senior year in college Brady played in 11 games. He attempted 295 passes and completed 180 0f them. Those 180 completions tallied Brady 2,217 yards, 16 touchdowns, six interceptions, and a 138.0 QB rating. While these aren’t horrible statistics, Brady wasn’t even on the Heisman radar. Tim Couch. Donovan McNabb, Akili Smith, Daunte Culpepper, and Cade McNown were all drafted in the first round in the 1999 draft ahead of Brady. Finally, in the 6th round with the 199th pick, the New England Patriots picked Tom Brady. The rest is history.
Trask and you shall receive
The signal-caller for the 6-1 University of Florida is Heisman hopeful Kyle Trask. Trask has put up some impressive numbers of his own this season. For the Gators, Trask has 174 completions on 246 attempts. He has also thrown for 2,554 yards, 31 touchdowns, and three interceptions. It doesn’t hurt that Trask has 6’6″ 240 lb TE, Kyle Pitts catching 24 receptions and eight of his 31 touchdown passes. As of November 24, 2020, Trask was leading the Heisman race with 56 points.
Keeping up with the Joneses
Junior Alabama quarterback Mac Jones is currently number two in the Heisman Trophy watch with 50 points. It’s no surprise Jones is as talented as he is. Mac’s father, Gordon Jones, played tennis at Florida State and Flagler, before going on and playing professional tennis for several years. Mac’s mother Holly and brother Will both attended Mercer College, where Holly excelled at tennis and Will at soccer. Following in her mother and father’s footsteps, Sarah Jones, Mac’s older sister, played tennis at Charleston University. So far this season, Jones has led the Crimson Tide to a 7-0 record. With 155 completions in 201 attempts, Jones has thrown for 2,425 yards and found a receiver in the end-zone 18 times with only 3 interceptions. With two games left in the regular season watch for Mac to be on the attack for the Heisman Trophy.
Cougar on the prowl
The BYU Cougars are 9-0 and hunting for a Bowl game. One of the reasons the Cougars are so fierce is their Jr quarterback Zach Wilson. Wilson has had an amazing season. When you look at Zach’s stats, outside of not playing in a Power 5 conference, it makes you wonder why Wilson isn’t closer to Trask on the list. Zach Wilson has completed 176 passes on 237 attempts. That is almost a 75% completion rate. What does this mean? For every 4 times, Wilson throws the ball he completes three of those passes. With those 176 completions, Wilson has thrown for 2,724 yards, 26 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. That’s more yards and touchdowns than Jones, Wilson also has one less interception.
Some may argue the Florida and BYU’s schedules are different, with BYU having an easier schedule. BYU’s 2020 schedule was supposed to be a better one. The Cougars would’ve played Utah, Michigan State, Arizona State, Minnesota, and Stanford. However, due to COVID-19, the Big Ten and PAC-12 conferences decided to play conference games only. So, with one announcement BYU was no scrambling to find opponents. In my opinion, BYU is a good team. No matter where you look, Zach Wilson’s stats are undeniable. BYU is still undefeated, Wilson is still a Heisman candidate and the Cougars will be in a bowl game. Power 5 conference or not, talent is talent and Zach Wilson is beaming with it.
Trevor the Tiger
Lawrence needs no introduction. He has achieved many accolades at Clemson. In 2018, Lawrences freshman year, he was awarded the Touchdown Club of Columbus Archie Griffin Award, (Most Valuable Player) and Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year, ACC Rookie of the Year, ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year, second-team All-ACC, AP ACC Newcomer of the Year and All-ACC Academic selection. In 2019, Lawrence earned the Tim Bourret Award, given to the player who best represents himself, his teammates, and Clemson University in the media. He also achieved first-team All-ACC selection, a second straight All-ACC Academic selection, and a two-time ACC Honor Roll selection (2018-19).
Year of the Tiger
With all of those accolades, Lawrence’s most prolific achievements arguably came in 2018. In 1985, Oklahoma’s Jamelle Holieway became the first freshman quarterback to lead his team to a National Championship. No other freshman QB had been able to achieve this feat. Eventually, in 2019, of course, Lawrence successfully broke that streak. Trevor Laled his team to a National Championship. Trevor Lawrence accomplished this amazing feat by leading Clemson against Alabama in the 2019 National Championship game. Lawrence did this by mauling number one powerhouse Alabama 44-16 finishing with a 15-0 record. After becoming the first quarterback in 40 years to beat two top-5 opponents by 25 or more points in a single season, Lawrence was selected to Rivals’ All-Bowl Team for his performance in the College Football Playoff. After becoming the first quarterback in 40 years to beat two Top-5 opponents by 25 or more points in a single season. Trevor Lawrence has arguable had an incredible college career and should make a great pro. Undoubtedly, this tiger’s eye is on the Heisman.
Fields of dreams
Justin Fields in no stranger to the Heisman candidate list. Being nominated in 2019, after the greatest season ever by an Ohio State QB, fields finds himself on the list once again. Ohio State has only played 4 games due to the Big East having a late start. Over those 4 games Justin Fields has lead the Buckeyes to a 4-0 start. Fields has 90 completions on 113 attempts, for 1,208 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. Whereas these stats don’t seem impressive, to be fair, Fields has the benefit of the doubt.
Bang for the Buckeye
In 2019, when Fields was in the Heisman hunt, he had completed 238 passes on 354 attempts. Fields threw for 3,273 yards, 41 touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed the ball for 484 yards and 10 touchdowns. Even with stats like that Fields still finished third on the Heisman voting in 2019. With Joe Burrow winning and Jalen Hurts coming in second, imagine what their stats must’ve been.
Division by conference
The Power 5 conferences consist of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big Ten Conference, Big 12 Conference, Pac-12 Conference, and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). However, there are 10 total conferences in NCAA Division 1 football. BYU plays in the FBS Independent Schools conference. I don’t think they have gotten the credit they deserve, nor has Zach Wilson. BYU is currently 9-0. Yet, in the recent CFP rankings, BYU is ranked #14, behind three teams with two losses. Georgia #9, Oklahoma #11 and Iowa State #13 all have two losses a piece yet they are all ranked over BYU.
Bowl games, Heismans, and Drafts Oh my!
Zach Wilson’s stats didn’t go unnoticed, earning him a spot on the Heisman candidate list. With that said, in my opinion, chances are he won’t win. Trask, Jones, Lawrence, and Fields are all incredibly talented and should make incredible pro quarterbacks. I personally think that Wilson will as well. Until Tuesday, January 5th, starting at 7 pm, we won’t know who will be hoisting the Heisman. At least we have all the Bowl games to watch to tackle time until then. The question is, will BYU find a way to sneak into a Bowl Game, or will they be poached by a Power Five team?