By KENNY FRANEK
So who is the front runner in the Heisman race? Is it Graham Harrell? Percy Harvin? There are many players thus far who may indeed deserve this most coveted trophy in all of college football. One thing about this race intrigues me; why is John Parker Wilson's name not being mentioned? Sure his numbers aren't spectacular; 1,775 yards passing with only eight touchdowns and five interceptions and a 124.8 passer rating. But he brings more to the table than what his numbers show and that is leadership and the ability to manage a football game.
I know what you're saying, it's mostly Alabama's defense and running game that are winning them ballgames. This is partially true, but you also need a quarterback that can protect the ball, keep the offense on the field, and manage drives. This is what Wilson does. Not only does he do it at home, he does it on the road as well. In the season opener against Clemson he pummeled a team that had high hopes for the season. Then he went into Georgia and played outstanding again, completing 13-of-16 pass attempts for 205 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. Most recently, he traveled to LSU and produced the game winning score in overtime, and this came after a horrific night for him stat-wise (15-for-31 215 yards, two rushing touchdowns and one interception). That just goes to show you the poise this kid has. Even when he's not playing his best game he finds a way to win and isn't that what its all about – winning? No, he is not the flashiest player nor does he put up eye-popping numbers. But without him running the offense, this Crimson Tide team would not be the top ranked team in the country and wouldn't be undefeated. John Parker Wilson gets the job done and has the Tide rolling. If they can manage to stay undefeated and make it to the national championship game, then I don't see how you can overlook him as a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate.
Photo Credit: Collegiate Images
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
By KENNY FRANEK