Heismanpundit.com is considered by most to be an authoritative voice for everything Heisman Trophy related. And this is related – an updated 2012 Heisman watch list created by the pundit himself.
There are 18 players on the list, and six are from the SEC (in alphabetical order):
Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee
Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas
James Franklin, QB, Missouri
Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
I really want to see how Tyler Bray has progressed this off-season. Has he truly grown up any? I thought he was a little immature, for lack of a better word,
last year and the year before. We have yet to see a full season from Bray. I think he’s very talented, but can he be the kind of player who takes a good Tennessee team and makes them great? That’s what it’s going to take to make Bray a Heisman finalist. He could truly be the player who is overlooked simply because his team could struggle again. His numbers should be great, though.
You all know me. I love Knile Davis. He’s the complete running back; he’s an underdog. That’s why I really like him. No one was talking about him coming out of high school, and no one was saying a word about him before he was the best running back in the SEC in 2010. Coming off of a broken ankle, I want to see him make a cut in week one and turn upfield. Then, we can start talking about Knile Davis for Heisman. This could get a lot of traction with a favorable schedule.
True, James Franklin had a very good year last year with 3,000 yards passing/1,000 yards rushing…in the Big 12. He did some very good things in that conference, and he would have done some good things in the SEC, too. I do think the SEC’s fans, players and media will be somewhat surprised at how good of a player he is, but he won’t put up the kind of numbers he had in 2011. I’m just not ready to go that far, yet. Another interesting thing of note is that Franklin is recovering from shoulder surgery and it will be a question as to whether or not he can stay healthy.
I love Knile Davis, but I have a man-crush on the way Marcus Lattimore plays the game of football. There is no show boatin’ or “get up and make the first down signal on a two-yard run” in Marcus Lattimore. No. This kid is the real deal, on and off the field. I am somewhat concerned about how he will recover from the knee injury, and how ready he will be physically this year. I truly hope he’s healthy because he is a special, special talent who is the total package: a great running back, blocker and receiver. If he can stay healthy, he will have a shot.
Aaron Murray has had a great two years in this league, and he can really take it to another level this year by doing some special things at Georgia. He will have arguably the best defense in the SEC getting him back the football with little or no points to make up. Murray will have a talented receiving corps, a better running game and a patchwork offensive line (at the moment), but I’m not sure he’ll achieve the kind of numbers Heisman voters want to see in Mark Richt’s system. An additional note – Georgia has a particularly easy schedule in the SEC next year, and look for that to play a factor down the stretch of the season in respect to this award as well.
And last but not least, Tyler Wilson. Some say Wilson will be the No. 1 pick overall in the draft next year. I love his arm strength and pocket awareness. He can make every throw on the field. If there is one thing to be worried about, it would be the loss of talent at wide receiver…and Arkansas lost three of them. The returning SEC passing leader should again lead this great crop of quarterbacks. I tend to think he is the favorite out of the players listed.