Jeff Grimes: BYU QB Zach Wilson Should Be Taken Seriously For Heisman Trophy
PROVO, Utah – BYU quarterback Zach Wilson is performing as one of the top signal-callers in college football and he’s garnering Heisman buzz in the process. Go through the leaderboard for any major quarterback stat this year, and you’ll probably find Wilson near the top.
In a far from normal season, is it possible that a quarterback could get in the mix for college football’s most prestigious award? If there’s anyone to pull it off, it might be Wilson. The swagger, the style of play, the efficiency, the arm talent, the relentless study habits, there’s so much to like about Wilson’s game for those that dive in to study him extensively.
Count Wilson’s play-caller, BYU offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes, as someone who believes Wilson should be in the mix for the Heisman. On Wednesday, during a Zoom call, Grimes was asked if he thinks people around college football should take Wilson more seriously for the Heisman.
“I can’t answer that because I don’t know how seriously people are taking him,” Grimes said. ” But I will just say, I think it’d be really really hard to find three or four or five guys who are doing better than he is. Obviously, the season is not over yet. But I would say based on the body of his work at this point, yeah, they should be taking him seriously. I’ve only been around one other quarterback who had a season like he’s having, and that guy won the Heisman. So I think he’s certainly in the conversation.”
That quarterback Grimes was referring to is former Auburn and current New England Patriots QB Cam Newton. Newton led the Tigers to the 2010 National Championship in his one year on the plains. Grimes was an offensive line coach with the Tigers that season.
Wilson is making a compelling case to be in the Heisman conversation with 1,928 passing yards, 78.3 completion percentage, and 321.3 yards per game.
Zach Wilson on Heisman Talk
This year, there is stiff competition with Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields forecasted near the top. As crazy it sounds, Alabama’s Mac Jones is looking better in the Crimson Tide offense than Tua Tagovailoa did in T-Town. But with all that said, why couldn’t Wilson crack into that top three and be a finalist in New York City?
There hasn’t been a player outside the Power 5 conferences finish in the top three of Heisman voting since the College Football Playoff was created. The last player from a program outside the P5 leagues was Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch in 2013. He finished third behind some star power conference QBs in Jameis Winston (Florida State) and A.J. McCarron (Alabama).
The attention and positive praise comes and goes according to Wilson, but he’s using the national spotlight as an opportunity not to highlight him, but his entire team.
“It is a dream [to be considered]; it is a blessing, for sure,” Wilson said. “But I always tell the guys on the team this when they bring it up: It is really a team award. No one is winning the Heisman if you are losing games … So I tell these guys all the time that it is really a reflection of our season so far as a team. I think we have that confidence and swagger, so really, it is great to be a part of it because it is a team award.”
Wilson and the undefeated Cougars will look to continue to make their Heisman pitch Saturday night against Western Kentucky at 8:15 p.m. (MT) on ESPN and KSL NewsRadio.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.
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