Wrapping up the Heisman discussion we've had the past week or so, I want to look at this year's Utes and the possibility of there being a Heisman candidate from them.
I guess we should figure out what a true Heisman candidate is - whether it's having your name floated by the media throughout the season or actually making it to New York. If it's the latter, I doubt Utah, whether it's John White IV or someone else, can realistically put together the season needed for that type of exposure.
Still, if things break their way, White can build on his junior year and Utah somehow finds itself in contention for the Pac-12 South, it's very possible his name is tossed around as a potential candidate, even if his chances to win it are unlikely. That hasn't happened for Utah since 2004 with Alex Smith, so, it would definitely be an exciting thing to experience, even if it ends just short of a trip to New York.
Of course, I picked White, and not someone else (Star Lotulelei might be the overall best player on the team, but defensive players rarely win the award, so...), because of what he did last year. White was our MVP and the sole reason we won eight games instead of, say, four. He carried the team on his shoulders and while his production will surely decrease with a more diversified offense, he's still a force, who could make a name for himself, or further that name, if he not only continues to impress but Utah does so, as well.
White is a phenomenal player and I anticipate some great things from him this season. It's unlikely it'll be good enough to win the Heisman, but his name should be mentioned come November as a potential candidate. Depending on how well Utah does, whether they're an eight-win team or a ten-plus win team, of course, will also dictate his standing in the Heisman pecking order.
If nothing else, though, I expect him to produce a season worthy of contending for the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year (Matt Barkley has to be the favorite at this point) and look forward to seeing him do some damage on the football field.
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