Denard Robinson, Terrelle Pryor Looking as Heisman as Anybody

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We knew entering this fall that college football‘s Heisman race would be as wide open as ever. With Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy gone, and no big name senior quarterbacks to replace them, the race for the game’s most prestigious trophy began wide open in the preseason.

Given that there have been so few repeat winners, we knew the odds were stacked against Alabama tailback Mark Ingram. Then he missed the first two games with injury. Still he’s averaging 9.3 yards per carry and has four touchdowns in the two games he has played in. Also injured is Houston QB Case Keenum, who had a solid shot at the award if statistics were the criteria prioritized by voters.

Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett dropped out last week after his two interceptions and narrow loss to #1 Alabama blew his best chance to make a true national name for himself.

Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles, second in the nation in receiving yards, is a viable candidate but we all know that receivers rarely win the award.

Right now you have to consider Boise State QB Kellen Moore (62-95, 873, 8-1, if you’re a football geek you’ll know what knows those numbers mean without the respective letters) as much of a candidate as anyone, along with Michigan QB Denard Robinson and Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor.

By Paul M. Banks

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Terrelle Pryor Reflects on Marshall, Prepares for Miami (Video)

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Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor took another step forward in his career development Thursday night. As bad as he and his Buckeyes made Marshall look a couple days ago, the Thundering Herd were a bowl team last year, and are projected again by many to be in a bowl game this year.

So it wasn’t like they were playing the Greendale Community College Human Beings in their season opener. You fans of the NBC sitcom “Community” will dig that reference, for those who didn’t get the allusion, yes the fictional college actually has a football team with a “Human Beings” mascot.

Anyway, the real test comes this week against Miami (“It’s all about the U!”), and Pryor talked about it.

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Terrelle Pryor playing at a near Heisman Level

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Two of the last three times that Ohio State played for the national title (2002 with Craig Krenzel and 2007 with Todd Boeckman) they had a “game manager” as their quarterback. Game manager is a euphemism for mediocre signal caller; a field general who won’t win games for you, but he also won’t lose any.

In the third instance, 2006, they had a Heisman trophy center under in Troy Smith. In 2010, Adam Rittenberg of ESPN listed Smith as the “Big Ten player of the decade.”

Smith may have been the best of the three OSU QBs, but in that title game loss, a 41-14 destruction at the hands of St. Tebow’s Florida Gators, Smith completed just four of 14 passes for 35 yards, and had an interception, a fumble, and he was sacked 5 times.

The Buckeyes current QB, Terrelle Pryor, has the potential to succeed where Smith failed and become a much more complete quarterback than all the Ohio State QBs in the Jim Tressel era. Yes, Pryor should be better than Smith. But he’s not there yet.

By Paul M. Banks

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