My father is a known commodity. To me at least.
I know how tall he is and come Christmas time I remember his shirt size and such sartorial nonsense.
Dad had a client that possessed ties towards the Maxwell Awards and that relationship culminated in invitations and eventually a photo of my father next to Derrick Henry. In comparison the size and scope of the running back is jarring.
The man is a giant.
The gravitational pull of his head alone is incredible, but seeing him next to the man that towered above me in the formative years of my life is hard to describe. Say “athletic ability” all you want, size is key, and Henry has it.
I’ve favored the Maxwell over the Heisman because I feel like the Maxwell gives slightly more attention to defensive players than the Heisman society or trust or whatever. There’s no evidence for this feeling other than the 2012 winner. Manti Te’o took the award as a linebacker. Other than that it’s quarterbacks and running backs as far as I care to research with a DeVonta Smith sprinkled in for good measure.
I never cared for the Heisman. To me, it was a thing that Auburn could point toward in lieu of a championship. We were a team and that was an individual award. Saban changed that. Inghram changed that. I’ll admit to being a fan and my dismissal turned to hope and Jalen should have won. Henry, and Smith, and then Young.
Now we have a returning Heisman winner as the leader of our team. What do we expect?
I’m looking at two fan expectations and neither are fair.
The first is that he’s the great grand wonder that will uplift the whole. The problem is that we’ve been spoiled. Smith, Jeudy, Ruggs, and Waddle? We have grown accustomed to excellence surrounding our quarterbacks. The next wave may be on the rise, but the evidence is lacking.
Julio Jones (his name be praised) was the finest receiver we have ever seen at the Capstone. Even with him, I used to joke that I wanted his every game bizarre drop to happen early because then he got it out of his system and was ready to play. If the later half of last season and the Spring game are to be considered, we have big time drop problems.
We have, arguably, the best quarterback in the nation and we might need to lean on the run.
Dammit, dammit, dammit.
The second is what I think will more likely happen.
I do not like to be a fan boy type and always say how great and smart and clever we are in the face of whatever. I try to be an honest observer. This is Young’s season. He’s going to dunk on last year’s Heisman. There are o-line issues, but he’ll be fine.
We all saw it last year. He’d roll out to the right and hesitate along the line of scrimmage. He’d pause like a dog with an electric collar and scan the downfield. There was green ahead of him but he wouldn’t take it. He will this year. He was told not to run because he was precious.
Milroe is going to give Young a season of a lifetime.
I got the sense that Young was held back last year. If he got hurt there was a vast land of regret where there be dragons. There was no backup. That’s not the case anymore.
Take risks and let the sliver of the world that likes our sport know what can be done. I think he was hobbled by the qb room last year and he still won the Heisman, and more importantly, he won the Maxwell.
Roll out to the right and you better pin him in, otherwise he’s gone. He may just win the Maxwell again.