With the Heisman Trophy awarded last weekend, another college football season slowly came to a close ("Baylor QB Robert Griffin III wins Heisman Trophy," Web, Saturday). The Heisman Trophy, awarded to the best college football player in a given season, has always received a great deal of fanfare, but I wonder whether the professional significance of this award has lost some of its luster.
All you need to do is take a look at the list of Heisman Trophy winners over the past 25 years. With all due respect, you have a lot more Jason Whites and Ron Daynes than you do Charles Woodsons and Barry Sanderses. Players who win this prestigious award, as evidenced over the past 25 years, are rarely great NFL players, let alone future Hall of Famers.
With the Heisman comes more than recognition and honor. Often overlooked is that with the trophy comes high expectations. More often than not, Heisman award winners are drafted relatively high in the first round of the NFL draft. If successful in the NFL, few notice. Heisman award winners are expected to perform - and perform well. However, if a Heisman award winner fails to live up to expectations at the next level, which seems to happen with regularity these days, he is wrongly labeled a "bust."
The reality is that the Heisman Trophy rewards superior collegiate performance on the field and does not reward or predict success on the professional level.
Don't get me wrong - the Heisman Trophy is a wonderful and prestigious award, but it has never been, nor will ever be, an accurate barometer for forecasting future NFL success. That being said, if one day my son is fortunate enough to be a Heisman finalist, I would be pulling very hard for him to win the historic award.
I wish Robert Griffin III the best of luck and continued success as he embarks upon his professional career in the NFL.
EUGENE T. LEE
President and Chief Operating Officer
ETL Associates Inc.
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