Pre-Season Predictions and Heisman Hopefuls

By Eric D. Graham BASN columnist
Updated: May 11, 2012

NORTH CAROLINA (BASN)–-While the NBA basketball season is coming to a climatic end and Major League Baseball has started off with a big bang due to Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp, it’s never too early to talk about some football.

Matter of fact, college football fanatics have already started discussing who has the talent, the skills and the charisma after spring practice to hoist the Heisman Trophy over their head in December.

The pre-season predictions for who will win the BSC National Championship still reside in the SEC but the winner of the Heisman Trophy is still a mystery.

And even though there are several players on the Heisman watch lists, there are only a few ballers on the ballet, who have a serious chance of winning the highly-acclaimed bronze bust.

One of the leading candidates in the race for the Heisman this year plays wide receiver in Death Valley.

He is Clemson’s Sammy Watkins.

Watkins, as a freshman, was an electrifying game- changer, who ranked fourth in the FBS in all-purpose yards with 176 per game as a wide-receiver and punt returner.

Watkins, however, is not the only superstar in the state of South Carolina; Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks have running back Marcus Lattimore, the 2010 National Freshmen of the Year, who is currently rehabbing from surgery on a torn left ACL and ML last season in the backfield.

Along with the bruising downfield running of Lattimore, there is the Wisconsin Badgers’ Monte Ball, who finished fourth in Heisman voting last season behind Baylor’s Robert Griffin III, Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Oregon’s LaMichael James, due to his single-season 39 touchdown tying record held by the legendary Cowboy Barry Sanders along with his nation leading 1,936 rushing yards.

While everyone loves a hard, ground and pound running back carrying “the rock”, it would be a sin not to mention the quarterback position when discussing the Heisman Trophy Award, especially when the last two winners Robert Griffin III (Baylor) and Cam Newton (Auburn) were QBs.

This year’s significant signal callers gaining some national attention are: USC’s Matt Barkley, who threw 39 touchdown in 2011, the nation’s active leader in career passing yards with (12,379) Oklahoma State’s Laundry Jones and Georgia’s sophomore sensation Aaron Murray.

But none of these QBs are more exciting to watch on a Saturday afternoon with a stadium full of streaming fans than Michigan’s Denard “Shoelace” Robinson or the Mountaineers’ Geno Smith, who threw for 4, 385 yards and 31 touchdown passes last season.

With all of these offensive players being recognized and placed in the spotlight, there has to be at least one defensive player on the list.

Therefore, no one should be surprised to see the cutthroat cornerback with the clever nickname and the unique blonde Mohawk -known as the Honey Badger from LSU named Tryrann Mathieu in the Heisman conservation.

Mathiew should steal some of thunder from these unproven quarterbacks in the SEC this season while creating some histrionic highlights along the way in his quest for the Heisman.

Eric D.Graham, a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, where he received a B.A. in Mass Communication with a concentration in Radio and Television and a minor in History, with an emphasis in African-American Studies,  is currently the Editor and Chief of  Black Athlete Sports Network, where his articles  appear daily along with his controversial  cartoon character Bobbee Bee “The Hater.” Graham can be reached at