The Good Man.
Everyone knows who the Heisman favorites are, and those players are all good players in their own right. I haven't watched enough college football to have a favorite, know that sometimes regional writers vote for their players because familiarity can bring some favoritism, and that unless there's a real consensus pick, anything can happen. I also don't think that this trophy has the luster that it once had. Maybe it's because there are so many games, so many awards and so many bowls, that I'm oversaturated with both good reporting and inaccurate hype about college football. Whatever the analysis, the player who wins the Heisman is an outstanding college football player.
I frequently look for a different story, one about a kid who has hung in there, who has beaten back adversity, and who rises to the occasion when the opportunity presents itself. And that's a rare story. Because there are enough kids of character who get hurt early in their career who stay at it, make good contributions, and are the types of people that all programs just love to have. All of those kids deserve publicity, and many get them at the local level.
But there's one kid this past season who deserves a good bit of recognition. To be fair, in the weekly reports about his team's play, this player gets his share of attention because he plays a skill position and because he plays it very well.
Alvin Pearman, Jr. is a senior RB at Virginia who went into the season as a back-up behind Wali Lundy, only to replace Lundy as the feature back after a few games. He had suffered a serious knee injury a few years ago, but he stayed at it, rehabbed, and, well, he's rushed for over 1000 yards this season and has 26 catches to boot. Do a Google search, and you'll see blurbs about how Alvin Pearman led the way with 100 plus yards and a few touchdowns.
You can't do much better than that. Especially if you didn't start the season as number one on the depth chart. Pearman's is a very nice story, and he gets my award as one of the good men in college football.
I don't know whether Mel Kiper, Jr. has him on any draft boards, but one would think that his fortitude and his numbers, taken together, will get him a long look in an NFL camp in the summer of 2005.
Dave Sez is one of blogdom's resident ACC experts, so I'd welcome his take on UVA's now-star running back. But from this vantage point, Pearman is one of the many players that Cavalier fans have had to crow about all season long.
But in my book, he gets a Good Man.