De’Anthony Thomas’ Heisman Hopes are a Stretch [Oregon Football]
De’Anthony Thomas has been on many people’s lists of Heisman hopefuls with a realistic shot. As much of a Duck fan as I am, and as excited I am about De’Anthony Thomas coming in to this next season, I just don’t see Thomas being able to get enough stats and have enough of an impact on games to win.
Thomas does have a shot. He already has some name recognition. Second, he plays on a great team and is a running back. Third, he also catches passes and returns kicks. With his speed and agility he is a human highlight reel. Thomas has a lot of opportunities to get the ball in space, to make people look stupid trying to tackle him, and get on SportsCenter with gusto on “top plays.”
His freshman year De’Anthony Thomas totaled 2,235 yards on returns, carries, and receptions. He scored 18 touchdowns. His yards per carry are 10.8. Chris Huston, who is a college football blogger for CBS and runs Heisman Pundit, estimated that De’Anthony Thomas could break Barry Sanders’ total yards record of 3,000 total yards.
A few things would have to happen for Thomas to win the Heisman. He would have to break Sanders’ record. He would need to total 1,240 yards rushing, which Chris Huston projects. 20 total touchdowns would also be needed, and that is probably a low estimate.
I still believe that since Kenjon Barner will be getting the most carries in the offense and is the workhorse that it will hurt Thomas’ status. However, if De’Anthony has a huge game against USC, a game every voter will be watching, he will most likely be a Heisman finalist. If Oregon wins the PAC-12 championship and Thomas is the best player, making highlights, and putting up ridiculous stats, then he has a shot at winning.
The issue is that these are a lot of “ifs” for a sophomore player, probably too much to overcome. If Oregon loses to USC then Matt Barkley will get more votes. I believe De’Anthony Thomas has a good shot at being a finalist, but a Heisman winner is too far out of reach for De’Anthony Thomas this season. This year will most likely be a launch pad to next season, when Thomas peaks, and when Oregon will be the favorite in the conference once again.