The Heisman Trophy is one of the most prestigious awards in all of sports. Awarded to the most outstanding player in college football, it also is a cause for criticism due to the lack of structural qualifications. Alabama star outside linebacker, Will Anderson, recently took issue with this saying it was at the expense of defensive players. As Anderson put it on SEC media day:
“I kind of feel like they love offense over there. They love touchdowns, they love yards,” Anderson continued to say he wanted to be the player that changes voters minds, “That’s what I want to do. It’s not really just for me, but for other defensive players to know that we have a chance. We are worthy enough to be a Heisman candidate or win a Heisman.”
Former Michigan defensive back Charles Woodson is the only defensive player to win the Heisman in 1997. However, it is worth noting he also spent a good portion of his time as a kick-returner and at receiver. Outside of Woodson there have only been three defensive-only players to finish in the top two of voting throughout the award’s history.
If anyone can change this narrative, it is Will Anderson. The Alabama standout led the country with 17.5 sacks and 34.5 tackles for loss last season. The reigning Bronko Nagurski Award winner (Best Defensive Player) said his mindset is the same heading into this season. Anderson finished fifth in Heisman voting last season although received the third-most first-place votes. Look for him to take another step forward in his development as he attempts to change the narrative for defensive players forever.