David Wilson for Heisman, and Other Musings

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On ESPN’s College Football Live Tuesday, Rece Davis and Kirk Herbstreit did a
quick preview of the ACC. Most of the discussion centered around Florida State,
but at one point, Davis asked Herbstreit to give the name of one ACC player that
most college football fans don’t know about who will surprise them this year.

I’ll admit I’m biased, but I thought to myself, “If Herbie’s still got
it, he’ll say David Wilson. If he’s just shilling for FSU, he’ll pick E.J.
Manuel.”

Herbie said, “The guy I’m going to have to go with is David Wilson of
Virginia Tech.” Herbstreit went on to talk about how explosive Wilson is,
how he’s been in the shadows until now, and what a dominant player he could be.
By the time October starts, he said, everyone in the country could be talking
about David Wilson. “Especially with that [September] schedule,” Rece
Davis chimed in.

Indeed. Over a year ago, an interesting nugget from the VT coaching staff was
passed on to us: If there was one guy at Virginia Tech who could win the
Heisman, it’s David Wilson, in 2011. Not because Virginia Tech would give the
ball to him 350 times and he would rush for 2,500 yards and score 50 touchdowns,
but because he would have ample opportunity to touch the ball: rushing,
receiving, returning kickoffs, and maybe even returning punts.

The punt returns aren’t going to happen, but it’s not unthinkable that Wilson
could rack up 20 rushing TDs, 5 receiving TDs, and 2 or 3 kickoff return TDs. Do
it at the right time, in the right games, and the country will notice.

That doesn’t mean he’s going to win the Heisman, though. The trophy has
already been engraved with Andrew Luck’s name. Except … wins and losses are
the great equalizer in the Heisman race. The Heisman isn’t given to college
football’s best player; it’s given to a quarterback or running back on a team
that plays in the BCS Championship. (The only two exceptions in the

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