EA Sports posed us a question: What college football player who did NOT win the Heisman trophy is most deserving of the award? This was a tough one. Here's what I do know: The most deserving athletes wear orange and blue and play their home games at Scott Stadium. Here's what has yet to be determined: which Hoo is it?
The Wahoo rushing attack was arguably the team's biggest strength. The team's 2,107 combined yards were good for 3rd in the ACC, and the balanced attack caused opposing defenses fits. Senior captain Perry Jones led the team with 915 yards, averaging 5 yards per carry. He is a versatile back, who even threw a touchdown pass to Tim Smith in Miami. He was kept fresh by redshirt freshman K.P. Parks, who rushed for a Wahoo freshman record 9 TDs, despite (or with the help of?) his 5'8" 195 lb frame. Clifton Richardson impressed as well, and is perhaps the most powerful north-south back on the team. Does any of the Virginia backs deserve the "UVA Heisman" delegation? Or is the depth at the position too strong to pick just one?
Mike Rocco provided much-needed stability at the quarterback position. After the much-maligned early season platoon at QB, Rocco finally won the job for good with his gutty performance in the huge win against the Hurricanes, throwing for 226 yards and 2 touchdowns, giving the team a chance to win the game with its rushing attack and some gritty defensive stands. It was this performance that propelled a 4 game winning streak, during which he threw just one interception. Rocco was a key piece in the team's Chick-Fil-A Bowl run. Could we choose the QB of a "run-first" offense as the team's Heisman?
Last season, Chase Minnifield acted as the leader of a heralded defense, and the emotional leader of the team. He had three interceptions, but more important was his mere presence, which locked down an entire side of the field. Minnifield's defensive unit was nothing if not consistant, keeping the Hoos in football games, even when the offense sputtered. Was any play more important to Virginia's 2011 season than Chase's pursuit and eventual diving tackle of Florida State's Bert Reed just short of the goal line? A touchdown could have put the game out of reach, while forcing the Seminoles to settle for three points set up the eventual dramatic Wahoo win. (This is a good time to watch the highlights of that game if you need to refresh your memory...wow). Would future Washington Redskin Chase Minnifield get your nod for Heisman?
The bad news: A vast conspiracy allowed Robert Griffin III to take home the award for the best player in college football, as he edged past all the Virginia candidates we find so deserving. In the meantime, we'll need to keep waiting for the award to be in the hands of a Virginia Cavalier. The good news: In NCAA 2013, we'll be able to drop random other Heisman Trophy victors on to our team, as seen below. Tim Tebow and Vinny Testaverde would be welcome additions...but not sure we could afford any more quarterbacks on our roster.
This post was sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 13. Check out the video for the game below.