Send Curtis Samuel to New York for the Heisman Trophy

Twitter: @Atalanca

Since the Penn State loss, the Buckeyes have made a point of emphasis to get Curtis Samuel the ball more. Whether that means in the backfield as a running back, a jet sweep lined up as a wide receiver, or even just a simple route, they want him to get his touches. Samuel scored early and often for the Buckeyes as he finished the day with 38 rushing yards and two touchdowns and 74 yards receiving hauling in another touchdown. This seemed like a game where Urban Meyer was trying to build up Samuel’s stock for a Heisman Trophy invite. So let’s officially start the “Get Curtis Samuel to New York” hype going.

On the season, Samuel has 750 yards receiving and 637 rushing yards. All together, he has 1,387 total yards between the two and 13 touchdowns. Talk about efficiency. He’s the number one offensive weapon for the Buckeyes and they are finding great ways to get him in space to create mismatches. He showed it all against Maryland as well. He ran the ball extremely well and bounced it out wide to easily score and then beat the Terp’s secondary deep for a long touchdown catch. When the season is all said and done, Samuel has a real shot to eclipse 1,000 rushing and receiving yards for the season. The last player to do that – Reggie Bush, when he won the Heisman in 2005. Samuel is in elite company right now.

I’m not saying Samuel is going to win the Heisman because he’s not. In case you’ve been living under a rock this season, a guy named Lamar Jackson from Louisville is setting the college football world on fire. He’s a touchdown machine and as long as Louisville doesn’t self-destruct these last few weeks, you can etch Jackson’s name on the Heisman right now. But after Jackson is where the Heisman race gets interesting.

Going into the week, Jackson still remained the run away favorite. After Jackson, the other presumed players were Deshaun Watson of Clemson, Jake Browning of Washington and Jabrill Peppers of Michigan. Fortunately for Samuel and Buckeye fans, all three of these players saw their teams lose on Saturday which rises the stock of Samuel. Let’s discuss these players performances.

Starting with Watson, he was 52 for 70 for 580 yards and three touchdowns, but also threw three interceptions as well. And no, you’re not reading that incorrectly when you see Watson threw the ball 70 times. I think despite this loss, Watson is still going to continue to be in the Heisman race. He has 29 total touchdowns for the year, but the 13 interceptions are really costly. Due to his game stats against Pittsburgh, I think he still fared better than the next two players.

Next is Jake Browning. Browning had a tough game against USC, going 17 for 36 for 259 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. These aren’t great numbers by any standards. On the year, Browning still does have stats, but you have to wonder if that is in part due to their overall weak schedule. USC was really the first team he played where his personnel did not have the athletic advantage. To be honest, he looked really average Saturday night but his tremendous stats will still keep him in the Heisman race. 39 total touchdowns on the year so far is a tough statistic to ignore.

Finally, we have Jabrill Peppers. Take a deep breathe reading this Buckeye fans. I actually like Jabrill Peppers a lot more than the casual Buckeye fan. Him and I are both New Jersey boys and he was a real cool guy when I talked to him at a high school track meet. Side note, Jabrill and his relay team annihilated my team in the relay.

If you simply go on Twitter and type in his name, you’ll see a plethora of tweets saying how overrated he is. He doesn’t have an interception to his name since becoming a Michigan Wolverine. Buckeye fans will point out that you’ll have to go back to his high school days at Paramus Catholic to find the last time he had an interception. While that is discouraging, he plays a hybrid linebacker viper role on the Michigan defense that doesn’t always allow him to be around the ball for an interception. His overall stats are definitely boosted because he basically plays every single position, which is why he is receiving all this Heisman talk.

The way I see it though is that he’s a collegiate linebacker that does not have the resume and production to be in the Heisman race. Don’t get me wrong, he’s one hell of a player and he’s going to make an NFL team really happy in the first round. But, his production this season still does not warrant the Heisman talk.

So if you asked me today who should be invited to New York for the Heisman, I’d have: Lamar Jackson, Curtis Samuel, Deshaun Watson and Jake Browning in that order. Samuel has a few more weeks to keep improving his Heisman stock. But in the meantime, let’s get some “Samuel for Heisman” hype and graphics going Buckeye fans.

Twitter: @Atalanca

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