All that attention Collin Klein has been receiving recently may finally be getting through to the powers that be. An ESPN poll released on Tuesday has all 15 experts voting Klein as their number one Heisman choice, giving him a 75-41 lead over Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o. In third place with 31 points is Oregon running back Kenjon Barner.
While a quarterback at number one is no surprise, the number two vote getter is. Te’o is a beast on the field and I suggest you flip over to the Notre Dame-Oklahoma game this weekend to take in his combination of speed, power, and instinctual play. And as the best player on Notre Dame’s top five team, it stands to reason he would be in the running. However, Klein is just as intriguing. Most of us know the storyline by now (private school kid, no one recruited him, started at K-State as a receiver). And for the record, Te’o has an interesting backstory himself. Yet when a K-State player has already made his way to the top of the list at midseason, you know he’s playing some damn football. So here’s what damn good football looks like:
Through seven games, 1397 yards passing with 10 TDs and 2 interceptions to accompany a 71% completion rate. 551 yards on the ground rushing for 14 TDs with a 5 yard/carry average.
Unlike flashier institutions, K-State doesn’t look to put forth a million dollar ad campaign touting Klein’s Heisman bona fides (and yes, several schools have done this in the past with billboards and other advertising). Instead, Klein appears to be marching towards the award the same way his team is marching toward the BCS – unassuming, consistent progression, and by playing damn good football.