Nick Florence joins illustrious line of Heisman replacements
The Heisman fraternity is an elite club filled with some of the most memorable names in college football history. Just as elite, but far less memorable in some cases, are those players who had to replace those Heisman winners the following season.
|Nick Florence has some Heisman-sized shoes to fill. How well will he? (Getty Images)|
The Heisman fraternity is an elite club filled with some of the most memorable names in college football history.
Just as elite, but far less memorable in some cases, are those players who had to replace those Heisman winners the following season.
Baylor's Nick Florence is about to become a new inductee into that group.
The senior from Garland, Texas, has the unenviable task of taking over for Robert Griffin III at quarterback for the Bears. Consequently, he is destined to be judged against the incredible standard set by the greatest player in Baylor history. His first bad throw will no doubt elicit "RG3 wouldn't have done that" comments from the Bears faithful.
Florence has certainly shown flashes of brilliance, including a 9-for-11 half (with three total touchdowns) in relief of an injured Griffin III against Texas Tech last season. He'll benefit from Art Briles' quarterback-friendly, wide-open offense that allows him to distribute the ball to athletes in space. The guess here is that the statistical dropoff won't be huge for Baylor at the quarterback position, but that it's going to be hard to replicate the leadership and clutch play RG3 brought to the table.
It will be up to Florence to help ensure that, years from now, RG3's accomplishments aren't viewed as anomalies. But, in the end, perhaps Florence shouldn't be measured against what Griffin III did, but against what other Heisman replacements have done. Here's a look at the last 30 players who replaced a Heisman winner as starter and what they did in those seasons.
Some handled the pressure better than others.
1,184 yds, 11 TDs
1,679 yds, 21 TDs, 3rd in Heisman vote, led team to BCS title
|John Brantley/2010||Tim Tebow||2,061 yds, 9 TDs|
|Landry Jones/2009||Sam Bradford||3,198 yds, 26 TDs|
|Todd Boeckman/2007||Troy Smith||2,372 yds, 25 TDs, led Buckeyes to BCS title game|
744 yds, 9 TDs
3,347 yds, 29 TDs
|Rhett Bomar/2005||Jason White||2,018 yds, 10 TDs|
|Matt Leinart/2003||Carson Palmer||3,556 yds, 38 TDs, 6th in Heisman, led USC to national title|
|Jamaal Lord/2002||Eric Crouch||1,412 rush yds, 1,362 pass yds|
|Chris Rix/2001||Chris Weinke||2,734 yds, 24 TDs|
|Mike Bennett/2000||Ron Dayne||1,598 yds, 10 TDs|
|Hodges Mitchell/1999||Ricky Williams||1,343 yds, 9 TDs|
|James Whitley/1998||Charles Woodson||3 INTs, 8.9 PR avg.|
|Doug Johnson/1997||Danny Weurffel||2,023 yds, 21 TDs|
|Pepe Pearson/1996||Eddie George||1,484 yds, 17 TDs|
|Herchell Troutman/1995||Rashaan Salaam||826 yds, 5 TDs|
|Danny Kanell/1994||Charlie Ward||2,781 yds, 17 TDs|
|Frank Costa/1993||Gino Torretta||1,325 yds, 5 TDs|
50 rec, 740 yds, 11 TDs
2,735 yds, 17 TDs
|David Klingler/1990||Andre Ware||5,140 yds, 54 TDs, 5th in Heisman vote|
|Gerald Hudson/1989||Barry Sanders||910 rush yds|
|Raghib Ismail/1988||Tim Brown||12 rec, 331 yds, 2 TDs|
|Steve Walsh/1987||Vinny Testaverde||2,249 yds, 19 TDs, led team to national title|
|Brent Fullwood/1986||Bo Jackson||1,391 yds, 10 TDs. 6th in Heisman vote|
|Shawn Halloran/1985||Doug Flutie||2,935 yds, 12 TDs|
|Jeff Smith/1984||Mike Rozier||935 yds, 7 TDs|
|Kevin Montgomery/1983||Herschel Walker||559 yds, 7 TDs|
|Todd Spencer/1982||Marcus Allen||596 yds, 8 TDs|
Rhoads led Iowa State to three bowl games in seven years as head coach
The Georgia middle linebacker is one of the most valuable players in college football
Explaining my 2017 Heisman Trophy ballot and Jackson's tremendous season
Mayfield is the sixth Oklahoma player to win the Heisman since its inception
The Heisman Trophy will be presented to the best college football player this season
Army topped Navy for the second straight year in an absolute thriller in Philadelphia