Welcome To The Endzone: Bank Or Bust

By Eric D. Graham, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: March 10, 2010

Don’t you set down on the steps ‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard. Don’t you fall now — For I’se still goin’, honey, I’se still climbin , And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair — Langston Hughes, “Mother To Son”.

NORTH CAROLINA (BASN) — Even though 2005 Heisman Trophy winner and New Orleans Saint Reggie Bush made it to the Super Bowl this year in Miami, the road for other Heisman Trophy winners hasn’t been that glorious.

In fact, several Heisman winners, who were considered to be the best football players in college have had a difficult time trying to live up to those “great expectations” in the NFL.

Therefore, today in the “Endzone”, we allow you to determine which of the previous 11 Heisman Trophy winners were the BANK or the BUST. You decide.

1.

08 Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma.

Will B radford be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft? The injury to his right throwing shoulder has many NFL teams concern. It is really to early to determine whether Bradford will be consider a BUST or BANK, but we will know shortly.

2.

’07 Tim Tebow, QB, Florida.

It really doesn’t matter if Tebow is Pro-life or Pro-choice? The real question is, will he make the pros? Several people are questioning where he can play quarterback in the NFL after a poor performance in the Senior Bowl, where he was 8-of-12 completions for 50 yards, with two fumbles (one loss), and ran four times for four yards.

3.

’06 Troy Smith QB, Ohio State.

Smith was selected in the 5th round (174th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. He signed a three-year contract with the minimum base salaries of $285,000 in 2007, $370,000 in 2008 and $460,000 in 2009, respectively. Currently, Smith is playing behind Joe Flacco . He has played in only four games completing four passes in nine career attempts.

4.

’04 Matt Leinhart, QB, USC.

With Kurt Warner retiring, the Leinhart era is set to begin. The 10th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, Leinhart has an opportunity to prove to the Arizona Cardinals that he can actually play quarterback in the NFL. In his five seasons at Arizona, Leinhart has thrown more interceptions (20) than touchdowns (14) and has been sacked 29 times.

5.

’03 Jason White, QB Oklahoma.

White was not selected in the 2005 NFL Draft. The Tennessee Titans gave White a chance by signing him as an undrafted free agent. However, he quit citing that he had weak knees.

6.

’02 Carson Palmer, QB USC.

Palmer was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft by the Bengals. During his tenure at Cincinnati, Palmer has been a two-time Pro Bowler twice (2005-06, including MVP honors in ’06). His career has been plagued with injuries. For instance, he underwent reconstructive surgery on his injured knee in 2005 and had a partially torn ligament and tendon in his elbow in 2008. Despite all of that, Palmer came back strong throwing for 3,094 yards and 21 TDs last season.

7.

’01 Eric Crouch, QB Nebraska.

The six-foot tall Crouch was consider too short to play quarterback in the NFL by scouts.

As a result, he was drafted in the 3rd round (95th overall) in the 2002 NFL Draft as a wide receiver by the St. Louis Rams. He made the practice squad for the Rams (2002), Green Bay Packers (2003-2004), and Kansas Chiefs (2005) before going to the CFL.

Despite little success in the game of football, recently, Crouch signed with Team Texas of the upstart All-American Football League. But the league never got off the ground

8.

’00 Chris Weinke, QB, Florida State.

At 28, Weinke was the oldest player to win the Heisman. He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the 5th round (106th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft. In his first season in the NFL, he led the Panthers to a 1-15 record. After his first season, Weinke was reduced to playing backup quarterback where he played five years in Charlotte before being traded to the San Francisco 49ers.

9.

’99 Ron Dayne, RB, Wisconsin.

In 2000, Dayne was the New York Giants’ first round pick where he teamed with Tiki Barber to create a dynamic duo called “Thunder and Lightning.” Despite making an impact his rookie season and playing in Super Bowl XXXV, his next three years in New York were filled with disappointment.

After New York let him go, Dayne signed with the Denver Broncos in 2005 and later with the Houston Texans (2006-07) He had his best season as a pro in Houston when he gained 774 yards with 194 carries and 6 TDs in 2007.

10.

’98 Ricky Williams, RB Texas.

In 1999, Williams was selected as the fifth over all pick of the 1999 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. In 2002, Williams was traded to the Miami Dolphins where he led the NFL in rushing with 1,853 yards. After failing the NFL’s substance-abuse policy four times for smoking marijuana, he was suspended from the league and forced into early retirement. Later, Williams was diagnosed with clinical depression and social anxiety disorder. After the suspension, he landed in the CFL playing for the Toronto Argonauts. In 2007, Commissioner Goddell reinstated Williams in the NFL where he led Miami in rushing with 1,121 yards.

11.

’97 Charles Woodson, CB/PR Michigan.

W oodson was the fourth overall pick by the Oakland Raiders in the 1998 NFL Draft. In his first season in the league, he was named AP’s Defensive Rookie of the Year. A six-time Pro Bowler, he was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year last year. Now a member of the Green Bay Packers, he signed a seven-year deal worth $52 million in 2006. Woodson has 432 tackles and 45 interceptions in his outstanding career.