Report: Steve Spurrier had Jadeveon Clowney on his Heisman ballot
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier says he always supports his players, and he reportedly supported star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney for the Heisman.
According to a report Wednesday from ESPN, Spurrier had the All-American on his ballot this past season when Clowney finished sixth in the overall tally. From the looks of it, though, Clowney (who picked up four first-place votes) may not have been on the top of his coach's list:
"I generally vote for some player on my team,” Spurrier said. “I just feel like I should, so he got one of my votes last year."
In talking further about his vote, the 1966 Heisman winner from Florida revealed a stark truth about how hard it is for a defensive player to win the trophy:
"It’s hard for a defensive player to do a whole lot. He had the big hit against Michigan, and other than that, their offensive tackle blocked him pretty well. When you’ve got a couple of guys blocking one guy, it’s hard to take over a ballgame."
In other words, no matter how well a defensive player performs, the offense can always scheme around him. As a result, even a great end like Clowney has limited opportunities to affect the outcome of a game. If he gets two early sacks, he draws a double team. If he holds up against the run, teams just run the other way.
Meanwhile, a quarterback touches the ball on every play. A running back might get 30 touches in a game. Thus, these positions maintain an inherent advantage in the race for the trophy.
And that's why no matter how good Clowney may be, he still remains a long shot for the Heisman.
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