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Should FSU's Dalvin Cook be on my Heisman Trophy ballot?

ANDRES LEIVA | Times

29

November

Does Dalvin Cook belong on my Heisman Trophy ballot?

That's the question I was asking colleagues in the Doak Campbell Stadium press box Saturday night. I'm still wondering it today, which is why I need your help.

Cook is unquestionably a tremendous talent. I was one of seven voters who had Cook No. 1 on my ballot last year, because I thought he was the most outstanding player in the country. He belongs in the conversation again this year, which is probably why he wore a Heisman T-shirt after Saturday's win over the Florida Gators.

Here's why I think he belongs:

He's second among Power Five running backs with 1,620 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns, despite playing behind a mediocre offensive line. In four games against ranked teams, he averaged 160.8 rushing yards and scored seven touchdowns. Gators coach Jim McElwain said after last week's game that Cook is "about as good as I've seen in a lot of ways." Considering McElwain faced Heisman winner Derrick Henry last year and coached another Heisman back (Mark Ingram) at Alabama, that's a pretty high compliment.

Here's why I'm not sure:

I only get three spots on my ballot, so competition is fierce. Texas' D'Onta Foreman has better numbers. Michigan do-it-all athlete Jabrill Peppers might be more dynamic. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson is, to use a technical term, ridiculous. Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen is the best player on the country's best team. And so on.

If we're getting down to the little things, then Cook only rushed for 54 yards in the 63-20 debacle at Louisville. That, obviously, is not great.

So make your case. Convince me, one way or another, either by commenting below or emailing me (mbaker@tampabay.com).

[Last modified: Monday, November 28, 2016 4:32pm]

    

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