Boston College senior running back Andre Williams is a legitimate contender for the 2013 Heisman Trophy and should be treated as such. There, I said it.
Now, nobody’s saying he’s necesarily going to win, because teams that are prospering nationally and/or quarterbacks of said teams tend to get more run from the media types who vote in these things, but Williams is well on his way to earning the right to be the first Eagle invited to New York City in almost 30 years.
Boston College fans will almost certainly be on board with that sentiment, but fans of other schools might doubt. They might think Williams isn’t big enough of a name or that the Eagles aren’t a good enough team to justify such an honor. To those folks, I’m sorry that he doesn’t play for whichever sacrosanct conference for which you root, but assuming he keeps his pace, Williams will have had one of the best seasons an FBS running back has ever had. That is not Boston College homerism; rather, an objective fact. With 2,073 rushing yards in the books and most likely two games left to play this season, he has a chance at rushing for 2,500 yards this seasonyear, which is virtually unheard of at this level. Only two players have ever done it and one is Barry Sanders.
Before going any further, we must give due credit to the offensive line, which has paved the way for Williams’s tremendous season. With that said, what more would the guy have to do to be one of the five who gets to be at the ceremony? He is completely dominating the opposition in historic fashion and gives off a positive image for college football: humble and hard-working. Williams being invited would be a great story and a strong acknowledgement of his achievements this year. If one of the best seasons a Division I running back has ever had on a major-conference, winning team is not worthy, then what is?
We must allow for the possibility, even with another significant performance next week, that he won’t get invited. This could be because the voters this year are more enthralled with quarterbacks, or simply because Boston College is to them a have-not and therefore nothing which happens here matters. Either of those would be a tremendous shame. There are a few national writers left out there who refuse to even recognize Williams, though most have realized that 2,000+ yards in 11 games is an extraordinary feat and are heaping him with every bit of the praise he has earned.
Even if he does not get invited, there is no way of which I can be convinced that Williams has not been one of the best players in college football this year. In fact, I think anyone would be foolish to argue otherwise given the year he has had. No, he probably won’t win the Heisman, but he deserves to be in these discussions and deserves the acknowledgement of the voters for what he has done.