Terrence Cody for Heisman

Terrence Cody photo by Southern Sports Media

It is time for a defensive lineman to win
How many Heisman Trophy winners hailed from the University of Alabama Crimson Tide?

None.

Not Joe Namath. Not Bart Starr. Not Kenny Stabler. Not any of those legendary names etched into concrete under Denny Chimes.

Bias? Who knows. But it is an inequity that should be corrected. While Heisman voters correct that inequity, we have a humble proposal that should help correct another inequity—favoritism of offensive skill players.

Here’s the solution: Alabama Crimson Tide Nose Tackle Terrence Cody should be a leading candidate for the 2009 Heisman Trophy.

There were many important players in the 2008 revival of the Tide. Coach Nick Saban praised the effort and attitude of the entire team; it would be difficult to single out one player as the catalyst of Alabama’s success. But there were themes evident this past year. Namely, the offensive and defensive lines propelled the Crimson Tide to 12 wins and the SEC Western Division crown.

On the lines you could single out players like Andre Smith, Antoine Caldwell and Terrence Cody as important cogs. In 2009 Caldwell graduates and Smith likely bolts for the NFL.

But what about Cody? On Thursday he told the press he had decided to return. He cited a desire to improve his technique and gain strength in his knee.

That is big for next year’s defense. Cody earned first team All-America honors from the Associated Press, Sporting News, FWAA, and AFCA; he won second team honors from Walter Camp.

Everyone recognizes the important role Cody fills in Alabama’s 3-4 defense. He can change a game. And how often do you say that about a lineman? Alabama wouldn’t be the same without him. Isn’t finding the best player about more than just big stats and scoring touchdowns?

It is time Heisman voters stopped looking at flashy numbers and started looking in the trenches. Cody would be a great place to start searching for a new type of Heisman winner.

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