Yes, This Dark Horse Heisman List Includes John Brantley

KC Joyner of ESPN just released an off-the-radar or darkhorse Heisman list that featured two SEC players, and they are both quarterbacks: John Brantley and Tyler Wilson.

Wilson is a guy that no one is really talking about for Heisman at all, but make no mistake about it – the guy can play some football. He also has all the necessary pieces around him to really shine for Arkansas.

Here is what Joyner had to say about Wilson:

Assuming he can win the Razorbacks’ starting job, Wilson will take over a situation that looks ready-made for a Heisman Trophy run. In 2010, the Razorbacks had the only offense in the NCAA to boast a 3,000-yard passer (Ryan Mallett), a 1,000-yard rusher (Knile Davis) and five 600-yard pass catchers (Joe Adams, Greg Childs, Cobi Hamilton, D.J. Williams and Jarius Wright). Davis and all but one of the receivers will be returning, so Wilson will be in great shape as far as a supporting cast.

It’s also not as if Wilson is a complete unknown. He took over for an injured Mallett against Auburn last year and used that national television venue to showcase his ability to pilot the offense. He completed 17 of his first 19 passes for 290 yards and four touchdowns and also added a two-point conversion completion. A performance of that nature in a game of that magniture shows the potential for Wilson to have a shot at being the best quarterback in the toughest conference in college football — for a team that is a legitimate national title contender.

Also, did I mention Florida quarterback John Brantley was on his list also? Please excuse me while I scratch my head and wonder where I missed the boat.

Brantley’s 2010 numbers were not indicative of how well he played at times. In the three games against the Gators’ toughest pass defense opponents (at Tennessee Volunteers, at home against the LSU Tigers and at the Alabama Crimson Tide, all teams that placed in the top 31 in the FBS in passer rating allowed last season), Brantley had 18 completions (plus one defensive pass interference penalty) in 24 medium depth attempts for 347 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions (medium being defined as passes thrown 11-19 yards downfield).

Brantley’s numbers were awful, and there is no getting around that. I love the idea of a pro-style quarterback for Florida in the new Charlie Weis offense, and Brantley is that guy. I do think Brantley will play significantly better than last year, because it could not get any worse for him being a drop-back passer in an option-base offense.