Dorsey Deserves More Heisman Pub

LSU tackle not getting his fair share of award consideration

Sept. 27, 2007

By Carter Blackburn

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College Football Preview: Week 5

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> Hart: Processing The Process  |  Trev: Hangover Saturdays  |  Can The Cards Be Saved?
> Blackburn: Dorsey Deserves More Pub  |  Crystal Ball: Weekend Predictions
> Caparell: Ducks Season Begins Saturday


Carter Blackburn covers various sports for CSTV and writes frequently for
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There are few exceptions to this rule: do not invite a 300-pound 22-year-old to dinner. 


Here is one important exception: if you are hosting the Heisman Trophy dinner and presentation in New York this December, you had better invite LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey.


The Heisman Trophy is supposed to go to the top player in college football. Next time you bump in to Urban Meyer or Pete Carroll on the street, ask them who the top player in college football is. If their first answer is not Glenn Dorsey, he will certainly be one of the top names on the coaches' lists.




So why in numerous Heisman watch lists is Dorsey not even considered? Take a look at the "official" Nissan Heisman Trophy online voting - Dorsey's name is not on the ballot.


The reason is the unwritten rule that a defensive player should not be considered for the Heisman Trophy. Michigan's Charles Woodson is the only defender to take the trophy, earning his hardware in 1997. But his profile included plays at receiver and kick returner, so still, no purely defensive player has ever won the award.


Dorsey himself says the Heisman should go to the "pretty boys" at quarterback or running back, but digging in the trenches and smacking those "pretty boys" is a role he is quite accustomed to.


"That's been my attitude the whole time," Dorsey said before the season. "I just want to come out and show everybody what I got. I always feel like I'm the underdog. That's the way I take everything. I always feel like I have something to prove and that just brings the best out in me."


Most years, Heisman Trophy voters can safely ignore defensive players and defensive linemen, because no one else is paying much attention to them either. It is impossible to watch every college football game and grade every exceptional player, assuming one still feeds and bathes oneself. So most of the Heisman evaluation comes from stats and TV hype.


It's pretty easy to see that Tim Tebow accounted for four touchdowns against Ole Miss or that John David Booty led USC to a prime-time thrashing of Nebraska. Not quite as easy to see a defensive tackle take on three blocks and still get a hand in the face of a quarterback on 3rd and 8 to force a critical three-and-out.


Unless you are coaching against him.


In a 7-3 LSU loss at Auburn in 2006, Dorsey was the most impressive playmaker in a classic defensive struggle, leaving "Heisman Trophy candidate Glenn Dorsey" stamped in the mind of Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville.


"Yeah, he'd be one of the top five guys who deserves to be there," Tommy Tuberville said, referring to the Heisman presentation. "A lot of people think of just offensive guys, but in terms of guys making their football team better, a defense better, getting their defense off the field, there's no doubt he'd be a guy who'd be up there."


Tuberville compares him to Warren Sapp, whom Tuberville coached at Miami, except that Dorsey is "bigger" and "more explosive."  That's a scary thought.


So is trying to run the football against this year's Dorsey-led LSU defense. Steve Spurrier's South Carolina offense managed all of 17 rushing yards against the Tigers last week, averaging less than a yard per carry.


"We're not anxious to play LSU again," Spurrier said after the game. "We couldn't budge `em up front."


Asked specifically about Dorsey's eight tackles and a sack, Spurrier said he wasn't watching him.


Maybe we should make one more college football rule, then: if you are a defender who so ticks off the Ol' Ball Coach with your performance that he pretends to ignore you, punch that ticket to the Heisman dinner.


There are a lot of talented quarterbacks and running backs in the race for this year's Heisman hardware.  There will be no ringing of hands if Booty or Darren McFadden gets the title of best college football player in the land. But please, Heisman voters, watch Glenn Dorsey shove aside quality offensive linemen every week and give him some love when you cast your ballot.


Just make no guarantees about giving him seconds at the dinner table in New York.