So yesterday, ACC Digital continued their series of excellent preseason videos with this:
The video, albeit brief, displays quotes, notes, and highlights that make a decent case for UM having its' first true Heisman candidate since Willis McGahee/Ken Dorsey in 2002.
And certainly Brad Kaaya has the talent and intangibles for a HUGE season.
But can he get enough done individually (and get enough help and wins) to win College Football's biggest prize?
With returning stars like Leonard Fournette, Deshaun Watson, and Dalvin Cook starting the season "ahead" of him, Kaaya seems to be a long shot.
So what needs to happen for Kaaya to become a more legit candidate?
In my opinion here is what is needed.....
1) The team needs to at minimum win the ACC Coastal. Mediocre teams rarely produce Heisman Finalists unless the individual player goes bonkers statistically. In this offense with the likelihood of emphasis on a balanced attack, I do not see Kaaya putting up 5K yards or 40+ TD passes. He'll have to garner attention by being the best player on a good team, to start.
2) The FSU and Notre Dame games need to be showcases for his talent. Almost every Heisman campaign has that signature win that propels the player into the spotlight. These contests, are Miami and Kaaya's two biggest opportunities on the schedule (in terms of name recognition). UM needs to win these games, and BK needs to play big, for him to get a shot at the trophy.
3) In scenario #2, Kaaya orchestrates a game winning drive, or makes a sensational pass for the game winning score. Ya know, something SportsCenter will show over and over and over.......Signature games have signature moments.
4) No one else goes completely nuts.... If Fournette runs for 2,000+ yards, or Cook helps a freshman QB at FSU with insane production, well this conversation is pointless. Part of a Heisman campaign is luck. You can't control it if a competitor has a season for the ages.
Overall, I think Kaaya's chances are slim.
It's not that I do not think the world of him as a player, but some of this also comes down to a popularity contest, and well Miami is not often popular outside of its' own fan base.
The good news is, I think said fan base is so starved for a big season from the team, individual stuff can wait.
Speaking of which, IF Kaaya comes back for his senior campaign in 2017, I like his chances a lot more than where he sits now.