Heisman voters should consider defense

Published 7:58 am Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel became the first freshman to win college football’s coveted Heisman Trophy, on Saturday in New York City.

He was very deserving. Also deserving would have been Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te’o, the second place finisher, and Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Collin Klein, the third place finisher.

My only beef about the Heisman Trophy every year is that it is billed as the award for the best college football player in the country.

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It should instead be billed as the award for the best offensive college football player in the country, No outstanding true defensive player, like Notre Dame’s Te’o, has ever won it.

Michigan Wolverines defensive back Charles Woodson won the award in 1997, but he also played wide receiver and returned punts and kickoffs.

There are many outstanding defensive players each year — like Te’o — who are just as good at their positions as offensive players are at theirs, but they are never even seriously considered by sports writers, sports broadcasters and previous Heisman winners who annually vote on the award.

There is an old saying in football and other team sports that offense makes headlines but defense wins games. Obviously, the Heisman voters do not agree with that evaluation.

I don’t have a problem with a freshman, like Manziel, winning the Heisman Trophy, although he’s technically a redshirt freshman and a second-year college student.

He had a great season and voters who thought he was the most outstanding player should have voted for him.

I just want the voters to seriously consider outstanding defensive players each year, which I don’t think they currently do.