Yogi Roth: Cam Rising Needs To Be In The Heisman Trophy Conversation

May 19, 2022, 12:46 PM
Cam Rising - Utah Utes - Colorado Buffaloes...
Cameron Rising #7 of the Utah Utes throws a pass during warm ups before their game against the Colorado Buffaloes on November 26, 2021 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Heisman Trophy has made just a scant appearance to schools in Utah with BYU’s Ty Detmer winning the award in 1990. He remains the last player from a non-power school to win the award. In 2004, Utah quarterback Alex Smith finished fourth. Beyond those two players, no one has come close.

That could change heading into the 2022 season. To win the award for college football’s most outstanding player, there are usually a few criteria that said player must check off.

It helps to be on a name-brand team or blue blood program, being on the best team that year and playing quarterback, entering the season with a lot of preseason hype, and, of course, a Heisman moment are a few of the things that help guys get in the conversation for the coveted award.

Utah quarterback Cam Rising fits the mold for a good number of what a Heisman winner needs to have. The Utes are coming off of a Pac-12 title with a near upset win over Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, Rising plays the glamor quarterback position, he is on a team that is getting early College Football Playoff buzz, and the Utes are in the top 10, if not higher, in many post-spring top 25 rankings.

The glaring issue to media members that vote on the award across the country is that Rising plays out West in the Pac-12 and he plays for a non-blue blood program in Utah. The Pac-12 has just four Heisman winners since the turn of the century and the most recent one is nearly a decade ago when Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota won the award in 2014.

That is not to say the Utes are a nobody on the national stage, they have appeared in three of the past four conference title games, went to the Rose Bowl last year, and had they defeated Oregon in the 2019 Pac-12 title game the Utes likely would have made the playoff that year.

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