Wisconsin football running back Jonathan Taylor deserves an invite to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony.
After Jonathan Taylor’s career-best 321 rushing yards against Purdue in a wild triple-overtime win this weekend it’s time to start stomping our feet for the Wisconsin football standout.
Taylor is currently sitting at 1,869 yards on the season with two games left to play against Minnesota and whoever the Badgers draw in their bowl game. Taylor has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in every game this year, except one, which was against Northwestern. In the three outings since all Taylor has done is average 238 rushing yards per game and find the end zone seven times.
After opening the season as one of the favorites to take home the Trophy, which is usually a curse, all Taylor has held up his end of the deal. Preseason favorites like Bryce Love and Khalil Tate, names all around Taylor, haven’t lived up to the expectations. Taylor has. He’s blowing away the competition and leads the country in rushing yards. He leads the country in attempts too but his 7.2 yards per carry puts any doubt to rest.
It’s difficult to argue Taylor should win the trophy over Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa or Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, the two leaders in the race, with the struggles Taylor’s team has had this year. But the Heisman Trophy is an individual award and Taylor has earned the right to be in the discussion. He’s the best running back in the country by a longshot.
Tagovailoa and Murray will battle the final few weeks of the season for the award. Some others may steal some first or second place votes but those should be the top two names on the ballot. So who else will get an invite, which is prestigious in itself? West Virginia’s Will Grier and Washington State’s Gardner Minshew are who ESPN has above Taylor. They’re good candidates as well, but only Minshew is worthy in this debate.
What Jonathan Taylor is doing is the running back version of what Minshew is doing as a passer. He’s simply dominating. Minshew leads the nation in passing by a few hundred yards, just as Taylor does in rushing. Washington State’s season is a bit more magical as the Cougars are still hunting for a College Football Playoff spot, but the dominance is identical.
Taylor should garner a significant chunk of votes so it’s only right that he receives an invite to the ceremony. You can vote for a storyline or you can vote for a great player having a great season. There’s only one way to be on the right side of history. We don’t want Taylor’s incredible season to be forgotten by Heisman voters as Montee Ball’s did.