By now you've noticed the ads plastered all around the site about NCAA Football 2013 coming out, and primarily its feature that allows you to add a Heisman winner from the past to your team.
The EA Sports people have been kind enough to sponsor a couple posts to have you all respond and answer the question: What former Heisman winner** would you like to have seen play for Clemson?
I think I'll have to limit myself to guys I've seen play at some level, and take into consideration the team that Clemson had in their Heisman winning season, but you could add former winners of any year to this current roster.
What would Danny Ford have done with Herschel Walker if UGA hadn't bought him that new Trans Am his senior year? We won one national title without him in 1981, when he couldn't hold onto the ball or touch the endzone in Death Valley, but how much better would we have been in 1980 or 1982 with Walker?
What if Danny had Barry Sanders in 1988? As much as I love Terry Allen and Wes McFadden, can you imagine how much better our running game would've been with Sanders in the backfield?
In the 90's we had so many holes that to me its pointless to speculate how one player would've fixed any of those teams. If Charlie Ward had been playing for us on the day when Hatfield relinquished the ACC to FSU, I doubt their run in the ACC would've been so dominant, but we had so little talented depth through the decade that its hard to speculate. I liked Rashaan Salaam and Charles Woodson as players but they couldn't have fixed our problems back then.
In 2006 we were stuck with Mike Proctor, who could not execute a pass thrown further than 15 yards. We were running all over everybody we faced until one night in Blacksburg where we lost a top OL and they stacked the box to force us to pass. That wasn't the only weakness of the '06 team, but a glaring one at the end of the year that proved to be our demise. In that same year, Ohio State went all the way to a BCS Title game with Troy Smith. Irrespective of how that game against Florida turned out, if Bowden had had a QB that could throw the ball, where would the '06 team have finished? I believe we'd have won the ACC.
During most of this decade, the winners have been Quarterbacks, and I don't think QB was as huge a problem for us as skill talent around them was, or a competent defense, or a competent OC. I think Whitehurst bears his share of blame for the trainwreck 2004 season, when Matt Leinart won for USC, but overall I think we could've done much better for Charlie than we did, had we had enough talent and coaching around him.
So I guess, for the 2012 team, the player I'd like to have the most is someone like Ron Dayne. I love big bruising RBs, which is why I'll always love Raymond Priester, and this offense could use one like him to complement Andre Ellington. I'd split the carries between the two until defensive lines are dizzy and broken-hearted. Give Dayne the ball in every short yardage situation and he may get a few behind our sissy OL.
Then again, if you put Cam Newton on this squad, we'd be thinking of National Titles. We have the same offense Auburn used to win it, and a similar statistically-weak defense. Tim Tebow might catch flak from everyone, but I think he's the best leader college football has ever seen.
So who would you like to have seen play at Clemson amongst past winners of the Heisman?
**-The only answer we disallow is Crackhead George Rogers, so if you mention him I'm banning you for being an idiot.
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This post was sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 13. Check out the video for the game below.
EA SPORTS NCAA Football 13: "Tiger" (via EASPORTS)