2016 Dark Horse Heisman Candidates

2016 Dark Horse Heisman Candidates

A few players you should take note of this season
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Welcome back to another great year of College Football. As I write this, we are only 1 day into the season and have already had some exciting drama. The Tennessee Volunteers pulled off an overtime win against Appalachian State, a team the Vols should have wiped out. Thats the beauty of College Football, anything can happen. This also holds true when it comes to a player earning the Heisman trophy. Everybody knows the typical candidates but there are a lot of great competitors this year. Everybody has a chance to win and there are some dark horse candidates you should know about.

1.) Josh Rosen

Image Source: USA Today

Josh Rosen was fantastic last year. He plays with a pro style and has a great pocket presence. He looks like he already plays in the NFL and he is only a sophomore. I think if his supporting cast does him well, he has a good chance to compete for the Heisman.

2.) Greg Ward Jr.

Image Source: LA Times

Greg Ward Jr. is a throwing option and always a running option. He can burn you both ways and his team is heading in a great direction going into the 2016 season. He is the leader of Houston and they can make a push for the playoff as well with a successful season.

3.) Chad Kelly

Image Source; Fox Sports

Ole Miss has lost a lot of the pieces that made them a really good team last year. Treadwell was Kelly's number one target and Tunsil protected him to make those plays. Kelly does not have either of those available to him this year so it will be interesting to see what he is really made of.

4.) Luke Falk

Image Source: Pac-12

Luke Falk is just a pure gun slinger for the Cougars. He has a strong accurate arm and he knows exactly where to put the ball. If he puts up great numbers consistently, I think he has a great shot to join the Heisman race if not compete for the trophy.

Cover Image Credit: Bruins Nation

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The Difference Between A High School and College Athlete

Nothing comes easy.
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High school sports are some of the greatest times in a young athlete’s life. You begin to play with a group of people that you will surround yourself with for your high school career, if you play all four years.

This is a great experience for anyone in any sport, but it has no comparison to being a student athlete for your college. When you get to college everything you thought you knew about your sport changes and you have to start over.

Participating in a college sport is a very humbling experience for a student athlete, you have to adjust to a college schedule and manage all your classes, along with your sport. This is an experience that changes who you are as a person.

High school sports teams are filled with many different types of players. For example there is the kid that doesn’t enjoy playing the sport, but they love the game so they play in high school to keep it in their life.

Then you have the kids who aren’t actually fans of the sport, but they were put into it at a young age and it’s the only thing they have ever known, so they continue to play to feel comfortable. Then there are the kids who do not care about winning or losing, they are just happy to be there and they have fun playing regardless of the outcome.

As far as talent goes, whichever category you fall into does not dictate the talent you possess, these categories are mainly about mindset. Whether you are the best or the worst on your high school team you are still a part of a team and you work together with your team to reach your goal.

Now regarding the members of the team, some are better than others and then there are some who go on to continue their athletic career in college. These are the dedicated athletes; the ones who eat, breathe, and sleep their sport. Everything they do revolves around making themselves better in their sport.

When you have one of these kids on your team everyone knows who they are. When visiting teams come to your school to play your team the visiting team fears this player. Rumors begin to spread that this player has committed to play at a big time division one school in college and everyone wants to watch them perform.

Whether it’s on your team or another when that person steps into the spotlight everyone stops to watch, because they know something special is happening. Once their senior season comes to an end, they go down as one of the best to ever play it at their school.

Even years after they are done, this player is still talked about because of their high school accomplishment,; but after high school everyone stops following this player to focus on the next potential big shot that rolls through and that players college career may go unnoticed.

Once you get to college, you face new challenges every day and the simple adjustment of becoming a college student is not an easy one. You begin to live on your own away from home and you are becoming an adult with your own responsibilities.

You set your own priorities and have the freedom to do what you want. That’s as a regular college student, but not for the student athlete. As a student athlete, you have two main priorities, class and sports.

When you get to college as a student athlete you begin to realize how “next-level” college sports really is. The two hour practices after school don’t exist anymore, your life revolves around your sport and you spend all of your time either in class or with your team.

It becomes clear very quickly that the only focus you should have is school and sports, and if you feel you need more time to hang out with your friends and sports are consuming your time, then college sports isn’t for you.

Once you finally meet your team, you begin to realize the difference between college and high school. All those kids that don’t enjoy playing the sport, or the ones that don’t care about winning and losing all disappear, they simply don’t exist.

Everyone is there for the same reason as you and the sooner you realize that the better off you will be. There are no slackers and lollygaggers, and everyone is a hard worker. These are some things you realize before you even begin to compete with them, once you get ready for your first practice your eyes will truly be opened.

Your first college practice puts a lot of pressure on you as a college freshman. You want to make a good impression on the players and the coaches and all the returning players are personally evaluating you as well to see how you stack up against college level athletes.

When you begin, you realize all the automatic success you saw in high school isn’t so automatic anymore. Every player was the superstar at their high school and you immediately feel out of place. You have always been a top tier player, one of the best and now you feel as if you are just in the middle of the pack. It isn’t something you are very used to and it takes some adjustment.

This is why I previously mentioned college sports are a humbling experience; because no matter how good you think you are your college team is filled with players just as good or better than you are. Nobody on your college team is a bad player, they have all put in the time and effort to get to the college level and now you have to compete for a spot and it’s a battle.

The early stages are a tough time for a newcomer like yourself and in some cases struggling players begin to question themselves; they begin to wonder if they are good enough to play at this level. In some cases fear settles in and you even question your abilities.

This is when the time comes that you need to work harder than ever to prove to not only yourself but your team that you belong there.

Getting to this stage wasn’t easy, it was a grind, but a rewarding one. Once you gain this confidnece, it will be easier than ever to perform at your highest level. Once you prove to yourself that you are where you should be, the rest will take care of itself and things become easier than ever.

Achieve this confidence in yourself, work hard, and you will be able to reach your full potential and become the complete college athlete you know you can be.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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The NFL's New National Anthem Policy Is A Slap In The Face To The First Amendment

Enforced speech, of any kind, is antithetical to those of us who uphold the First Amendment.
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On Wednesday, May 23rd, the NFL announced the implementation of a new policy requiring that "All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the [National] Anthem."

Although the policy includes a provision that "Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the Anthem has been performed," I can't help but notice the parallels between this policy and Canada's Bill C-16 (which is what drew international attention to Dr. Jordan Peterson), due to the enforced speech ensconced in their mere existence.

Of course, I understand that one is a government entity and the other is a professional sports league and, in my opinion, enforced speech from a government entity tiptoes the boundary of tyranny much more closely than a professional sports league. However, what's important here is the principle of the matter. Not to mention that the NFL isn't exactly disconnected from the government since it receives billions in taxpayer subsidies.

Furthermore, I'm also aware that Bill C-16 enforces its citizens to use certain speech and the new policy from the NFL prevents its members from using certain speech, and that there is a difference between the two, strictly speaking. But enforced speech encompasses both compelling certain speech and silencing certain speech.

Presumably, most people who are supporting the NFL's decision were outraged over Google firing James Damore for his memo regarding diversity at Google, Mozilla firing Brendan Eich for donating to a traditional marriage campaign in California and ESPN firing Curt Schilling due to his views on transwomen using the same bathroom as his daughter.

If we, as conservatives, are going to have any semblance of intellectual consistency in our beliefs, then we have to condemn the silencing and firing of those who have different political views than us with the same tenacity that we condemn the silencing and firing of those who have similar political views as us.

This is not to say that behavior we disagree with shouldn't be subjected to criticism, but we cannot support measures that suppress the expression of those we disagree with if we simultaneously take up arms against the suppression of our expression.

The arena of professional sports is a unique case when it comes to these matters because, while on one hand, the NFL is a private entity, its players are all public figures. The field is their platform. And expressing their beliefs, as public figures, on their platform shouldn't be a point of regulation, especially since that expression surrounds something that doesn't pertain to their team or the NFL.

As a body of individuals who want to take on the role of Defenders of the First Amendment, we have to understand that our defense of the First Amendment doesn't end with those we agree with, but with those we disagree with the most.

Which is why this provision from the NFL should feel like a slap in the face to those of us who hold the First Amendment in the highest regards, and shouldn't be a cause for celebration.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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