Who will be Mr. Touchdown in Florida this year?

by Gary Shelton on June 20, 2018 · 0 comments

in general

Winston had an impressive Heisman career./CARMEN MANDATO

Winston had an impressive Heisman career./CARMEN MANDATO

Wednesday, 3 a.m.

For months, now, we have heard the chatter about the coaches of the schools.

By now, we have read that Dan Mullen is bringing back the fun to Florida football. We have heard that Willie Taggart is bringing the integrity back to FSU football. Already, Mark Richt has brought back the swagger to the Miami Hurricanes.

But how about the players?

How good will they be?

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Always, it seems, there has been an essential player to lead the schools of Florida. The Big Three of Florida has usually had a dominant player, someone who makes his team the one to beat.

But who will it be this year?

Could it be Cam Akers of FSU?

Or Ahmonn Richards of Miami?

Maybe Jordan Scarlett of Florida?

Anyone?

Look, this is the state of Florida. Eight Heisman winners have come from here, seven of them in a 32-year stretch from 1986-2013.. Since 1962, there have been 49 top 10 finishes. Historically, we know where the goal line is.

Oh, let's admit this. As far as Heisman finishes go, we're in kind of a slump. It's been five years since a Florida school had someone in the top five of the voting. Heck, Tim Tebow was in the top five three times all by himself.

The point is that it's been a while since you could argue that anyone from a Florida School was Heisman-worthy.

Could it be McKenzie Milton of UCF, whose eighth place finish was the highest in the state last year?

Could it be the FSU quarterback, whoever it turns out to be?

Could it be Martez Ivey of Florida?

Here's the thing. All eight of the state's Heisman winners have been quarterbacks. You get the feeling that Florida will make Alabama notice, and FSU will make Clemson notice, when they two get a true impact player at the position. Miami will take the final step (winning the ACC) when it can say the same.

Will that happen this year? According to Athlon Publications, neither an FSU quarterback, nor a Florida quarterback, nor a Miami quarterback are among the top four quarterbacks listed.

Still, do we know for sure who is going to quarterback at FSU? No, even though the impression seems to be that James Blackman will beat out Deondre Francois, who has made some questionable decisions lately. Felipe Franks has a monster arm at Florida, but he isn't an accomplished quarterback yet. Miami's Malik Rosier, despite winning 10 games last year, might have to fight for his job.

Then there is Mack, the talented player from UCF.He has a new coach, but he still might be the best quarterback in the state.

Ranking the Heismans.

1. Tim Tebow, Florida: For whatever reason, lips curl at the mention of Tebow. But three times, he was in the top five of Heisman finishers, winning it in 2007. Look, it isn't like the other Florida Heisman winners lit up the NFL, either.

2. Jameis Winston, FSU: Check out the numbers. No one has statistics like Winston, who won a Heisman and a national title.

3. Vinny Testaverde, Miami: Testaverde played long enough in the NFL to finish with some fairly impressive numbers. Still, his early days with the Bucs soured his memory for some. Still, he was extremely talented.

4. Danny Wuerffel, Florida; Another player who fizzled in the NFL. But he was a great performer for Florida. Another player who won a national title and a Heisman.

5. Charlie Ward, FSU: Ward never tried for the NFL, opting for an NBA career instead. But as a collegian, he was a heady player who had a knack for the big play.

6. Steve Spurrier, Florida: Spurrier's 1960-era numbers don't match up against the others, and he didn't win a national title. But Spurrier gets an assist on Wuerffel's Heisman (he was his coach).

7. Chris Weinke, FSU: Weinke was a major player for the Seminoles, leading them to a national championship. He wasn't the most gifted athlete, but he won.

8. Gino Torretta, Miami:  Torretta was 26-1 with the Hurricanes, and threw for more than 3,000 yards as a senior.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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