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Thread: Heisman Pundit picks two dark horse candidates from SEC for the next Heisman

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    Heisman Pundit picks two dark horse candidates from SEC for the next Heisman

    And they are not the ones you would expect. But then, if they were names you'd expect, then they wouldn't be real dark horses. The author is Chris Huston, who gets a vote.

    Still ......

    Eddie Lacy, Alabama — The math here is simple. Lacy carried the ball 95 times for 674 yards last season and now Trent Richardson’s 283 carries must be reapportioned amongst the remaining Tide backs. Most likely, a large chunk of those carries will go to Lacy, who should–conservatively–top the 200 carry mark (provided he stays healthy). That means if he averages just 6.1 yards per carry instead of the 7.1 he averaged last year, he’s looking at a minimum of 1,220 yards on the ground. He’s not the talent that Richardson is, but if he carries as much as Richardson did last year, he’ll be a Heisman candidate in the Tide’s run-heavy offense.

    James Franklin, Missouri – Franklin had an excellent sophomore season as a first-year starter, passing for 2,872 yards and 21 touchdowns and rushing for another 981 and 15. So he was very close to being a 3,000/1,000 player in his debut campaign. In the same vein, Missouri finished the year strong with four straight wins and was a few close losses away from a possible top 10 ranking. The big question here is how Franklin’s off-season shoulder injury will affect him in the fall, but he is expected to be fully recovered. If that is not wishful thinking, I see no reason why he wouldn’t top the 3,000-yard mark in passing this season. As for his rushing totals, the mangled knee of running back Henry Josey could cause Franklin to take up even more of the rushing burden than he did last year. Oh, and let’s not forget that he’ll have a really good target to throw to this fall in highly-touted freshman Dorial Green-Beckham, who is rated 13th on HP’s list of incoming wide outs. Look for Franklin to top that 3,000/1,000 barrier.

    Kiehl Frazier, Auburn – I suppose it’s possible that Clint Mosely and not the far-more-talented Frazier could win the starting job for the Tigers this year, as the disruption of losing offensive guru Gus Malzahn may result in a more conservative disposition down on the Plains. But one can’t account for the stubbornness or stupidity of coaches when making these types of projections. If, indeed, Frazier is handed the keys to the Auburn offense–and is used correctly–he’ll develop into one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC by the end of the year. For a guy who threw for just 34 yards and rushed for 327 last year, this may seem like a stretch. But he’s got the talent to do it. I expect a dominant year from Frazier and he’ll likely produce a 2,000/1,000 type of season.

    Christine Michael, Texas A&M – This projection is just common sense. Michael is a talented back who ran for 899 yards last season while getting about 43 percent of the carries in an offense that also featured Cyrus Gray and Ryan Tannehill (who had 306 rushing yards). Gray and Tannehill are gone and now Michael is the man, which means he’ll probably carry the ball upwards of 250 times and pile up a lot of yards in the process. He’ll be in the conversation as one of the top backs in the newly-reconfigured SEC and, if he stays healthy, he could have an All-American-level season.
    Here is the complete list

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  3. #3
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    Re: Heisman Pundit picks two dark horse candidates from SEC for the next Heisman

    There's a third SEC player on that list, Rex. Sorry but I think that guy has a better chance than Frazier. And I'm expecting Lacy to continue the tradition of dominant Bama running backs in the Saban era, so it wouldn't surprise me if he was invited to New York this December. Frazier would be the longest shot from the SEC players.

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    Re: Heisman Pundit picks two dark horse candidates from SEC for the next Heisman

    Quote Originally Posted by HeyBulldog View Post
    There's a third SEC player on that list, Rex. Sorry but I think that guy has a better chance than Frazier. And I'm expecting Lacy to continue the tradition of dominant Bama running backs in the Saban era, so it wouldn't surprise me if he was invited to New York this December. Frazier would be the longest shot from the SEC players.
    Yikes! I should have caught that. I went back and added Franklin. Sorry MO fans.

    Personally, I think Frazier is a huge stretch. He has, so far, demonstrated all the qualities of that other great dual-threat QB that Auburn recruited out of Arkansas, Kodi Burns. He can run, but as a passer, so far, he can't hit the side of a barn from a foot away. Players do often improve a lot from freshman to sophomore season, and he really was limited in his plays last year. Maybe he'll surprise us all.

    But the only way Frazier gets into the Heisman conversation is if Auburn is posting big numbers and big wins against big rivals. With a new offensive line, even as a homer, I'm skeptical.

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    Re: Heisman Pundit picks two dark horse candidates from SEC for the next Heisman

    Quote Originally Posted by AURex View Post
    Yikes! I should have caught that. I went back and added Franklin. Sorry MO fans.

    Personally, I think Frazier is a huge stretch. He has, so far, demonstrated all the qualities of that other great dual-threat QB that Auburn recruited out of Arkansas, Kodi Burns. He can run, but as a passer, so far, he can't hit the side of a barn from a foot away. Players do often improve a lot from freshman to sophomore season, and he really was limited in his plays last year. Maybe he'll surprise us all.

    But the only way Frazier gets into the Heisman conversation is if Auburn is posting big numbers and big wins against big rivals. With a new offensive line, even as a homer, I'm skeptical.

    We don't even know if he'll be the starting QB (possibly not considering Loeffler seems to prefer the pocket-passer), how in the world can he be thinking Frazier is a darkhorse heisman contender...

    If you ask me, Aaron Murray stands the best shot at a heisman in the SEC this next year.

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    Re: Heisman Pundit picks two dark horse candidates from SEC for the next Heisman

    UM Christine Michael is on that list too.

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    Re: Heisman Pundit picks two dark horse candidates from SEC for the next Heisman

    Hmmm .... I went back and added him to the quote as well. My attention to details has apparently failed.

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    Re: Heisman Pundit picks two dark horse candidates from SEC for the next Heisman

    Fitzgerald Touissant, Michigan — Touissant was touted long ago here at HP but he didn’t break out until last season when he rushed for 1,041 yards on 187 carries and proved down the stretch that he was a go-to back for the Wolverines. As quarterback Denard Robinson becomes more comfortable with more of the pro style elements of the Al Borges scheme, I think it’s safe to assume his carries will continue to drop (they fell from 256 in 2010 to 221 in 2011). That means more opportunities for the shifty Touissant, who seemed to get better and better as last season wore on. I think we’ll see another 50 caries go Touissant’s way, which could lead to one of the better years by a Michigan tailback in recent memory
    Nice to see Fitzy getting some love. If anyone could take the spotlight off of Denard, it's him.



    This is more Denard than Fitzy highlites, but it's the best I could find.

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    Re: Heisman Pundit picks two dark horse candidates from SEC for the next Heisman

    I would list Murray as a darkhorse candidate.

    Eddie's biggest obstacle will be staying healthy. He's had some bad turf toe that has kept him out of a lot of practice. Hopefully that will be a thing of the past. He won't necessarily need to be as good as Trent either if our Oline is as good as it should be. It could also come down to how many carries go to Fowler, Hart and Yeldon.

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