Meet Jonathan Dwyer, unannounced Heisman candidate

Pretty good college football right here. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Pretty good ballplayer right here. As good as C.J. Spiller. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Theoretically, every collegiate football player in the land is “a Heisman Trophy candidate.” But we tend to attach that label to a player only when the player’s school first attaches it. And Georgia Tech, being practiced in the lost art of understatement, hasn’t gone wild over Jonathan Dwyer just yet.

He’s billed on the cover of Tech’s media guide not as an “HTC” but as something a tad more tangible — the ACC player of the year. Which he was in 2008, and which he was just voted by the league’s media, assembled in Greensboro, N.C., to be again this season. And that if that doesn’t make someone an HTC … well, my name’s not George P. Burdell.

In Sporting News Today, Matt Crossman noted that Dwyer met the media in Greensboro from the seat “previously occupied by C.J. Spiller, the blazing-fast Clemson running back. Clemson brought with it life-sized posters of Spiller to hype his Heisman candidacy, a perfectly valid endeavor. But Dwyer will thrust himself into that conversation before long.”

Before long? Spiller rushed and caught passes for 1,065 total yards in 2008. Dwyer’s total yardage last season — 1,604. I’d say he’s there already. (Clemson, as we know, has never been shy about tooting its players’ horns. This is the school that, in 1982, sent out cereal boxes boosting Terry “Special K” Kinard.)

Is Jonathan Dwyer a legit Heisman candidate?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Dwyer might get cast as “a system back,” but he’s no more a product of Paul Johnson’s system than Tim Tebow is of Urban Meyer’s. They’re both tremendous college players. And I’m not suggesting Dwyer is going to win the Heisman — quarterbacks always have the inherent edge, and there are two previous winners (Tebow and Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford) still playing as amateurs — but I will say this:

If Jonny Dwyer — that’s what Paul Johnson calls him — doesn’t finish in the top five, I’ll be surprised. And if C.J. Spiller finishes ahead of him, I’ll sit myself down and eat a bowl of Special K.

218 comments Add your comment

MatthewH

July 28th, 2009
8:20 am

MB-Excellent point about being a “system back”. He excels in the system that is being run-which can be said for any candidate. For those that think GT runs a pop-warner offense, this offense was the topic of discussion at the ACC Kick-off. Defensive co-ordinators are already worried about it.
By the way, I’d rather Dwyer finish second-the runner-ups seem to have better pro careers.

Angus

July 28th, 2009
8:37 am

My guess – GT has to go 11-1 for JD to get an invite.

Also, being a GT fan, I’m glad they are not doing stupid promos like Clemson. Seriously, they’re promoting a RB that only had 700 yds rushing last year on a 7-6 team.

RAMBLE ON!!!

July 28th, 2009
8:38 am

I don’t think he’ll get enough touches to win it. He could get over 2000 yards, but there are to many other weapons in the back field for him to get enough carries. Plus he’ll be sitting on the bench in the 4th Quarter.

rduck

July 28th, 2009
8:39 am

I love the fact that GT and JD are not buying into the hype of the sport and just focusing on the job at hand. This shows the character of both the player and the school. As for JD being labeled a “system back”, every player in America plays in some type of system. Should we punish the QB’s who play in a spread offense?

Robert

July 28th, 2009
8:44 am

Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves with easy win talk. Miami wants revenge, the game is there and they finally wised up and fired their O coordinator, the guy who wouldn’t get Calvin the ball enough.

Robert

July 28th, 2009
8:52 am

The Wishbone offense was a hot offense in the early seventies? Why did it fall out of favor?

Mark Bradley

July 28th, 2009
9:09 am

Dwyer might not get as many carries as the traditional tailback, but he also breaks more long runs.
Don’t discount that.

Robert

July 28th, 2009
9:14 am

First time ever on this blog, I reached an agreement with a “foe” yesterday. Michael Vick draws a lot more debate, ya think.

Paul H

July 28th, 2009
9:15 am

Tech’s “system” has been figured out. Every school they face this year will spend a week watching the Chick-fil-a Bowl beforehand.

Robert

July 28th, 2009
9:16 am

What I want to know is whether either the Jackets or the Falcons or even the Bulldogs will be able to stop the opponent enough to have a championship team?

Robert

July 28th, 2009
9:18 am

They’ll need LSU’s personell too to pull it off.

Spiller can't hold Dwyer's jock

July 28th, 2009
9:18 am

Bradley, you finally wrote a column worth reading in the AJC. If Dwyer isn’t a Heisman candidate, then the powers that be aren’t watching. This kid is every bit as talented, if not more, than Eddie George. In fact, he is Eddie George with breakaway speed. He’s going to play football for a long time on Sunday.. Lets enjoy him while we still have him on the flats.

I say we let Clemson hype their 2nd rate back and let Dwyer make his case for the HT on the field. Typical Clemson, a lot of big talk before the season starts.

DawginLex

July 28th, 2009
9:23 am

Only way he will be on the bench in the 4th quarter is while the other team is controlling the clock with the ball, he is hurt or you are so far behind that he is being saved for the next game.

Your powerful opener might be the exception to this. We go and play a ranked team on the road who is opening a brand new stadium against us on national TV. You play Jacksonville state.

Class dismissed.

BankerDawg

July 28th, 2009
9:26 am

Paul-

Luckily for Tech, no one in the ACC as the O-Line and D-Line of LSU, so I’m not sure how much success teams could derive from simply watching tape of a game played almost 8 months ago.

Regarding Dwyer, he should certainly be considered a legit Heisman guy, but unfortunately for him, McCoy, Tebow, and Bradford are still playing college ball.

I don’t think Dwyer cares one way or the other. He knows he is scary good.

Pago Flyer

July 28th, 2009
9:27 am

Tebow will earn his 2nd Heisman when he takes FL to another #1 finish!

Robert

July 28th, 2009
9:27 am

Congradulations Uga fan, it’s the first time in awhile you’ve opened with a tough game. Usually it’s best to get your suspended players back first before taking on a good team.

Paul H is an idiot

July 28th, 2009
9:27 am

Paul H, are you really that much of a moron? Can someone really be that stupid? I guess if you are using that warped logic, then anybody who watches the 2nd half of the UGA-GT game last year can figure out how to exploit UGA’s defense.(or Willie Martinez)

Yeah, I’m sure we’ve been exposed and everyone has figured us out. uh huh. You can’t hide stupid. If I’m a betting man, my money is on Paul Johnson.

ant banks

July 28th, 2009
9:29 am

PAUL H,

i hope teams spend a week lookin’ at the chic-fil-a bowl. that was an anomaly. tech tried to get too cute. i am sure that paul johnson is watchin’ that game too. and i am sure that he will not do the cute stuff again.

Mark Bradley

July 28th, 2009
9:34 am

LSU didn’t so much figure out Tech’s system as Tech forgot how to kick the ball and field kicks. Go check the play-by-play. That game was lost by special teams in the first half.

Robert

July 28th, 2009
9:35 am

What really gripes Dawg fans is that their National Championship chance has passed. Too bad they can’t find a coach as good as Suzanne Yoculan for their male teams. I even pull for her teams.

Too Easy

July 28th, 2009
9:39 am

Mark: They also forgot to score more than 3 points.

DawginLex Loser

July 28th, 2009
9:39 am

DawginLex, of all the moronic statements, yours may top them all. Did you forget opening up with stalwarts Georgia Southern and the Central Michigan Chippewas last year? And are you serious? Georgia is the king of playing chumps to start the season, which works out well with the meaningless suspensions Richt hands out every offseason.

So we play our cupcake game first and you guys don’t take on the mighty Tennessee Tech squad until later in the season. So what? We opened with teams like Auburn/Notre Dame several years back and ya’ll opened with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. So what is your point?

Brian22

July 28th, 2009
9:43 am

Thank you, Mark for your 9:34 post. That’s EXACTLY what happened.

LSU game will be a blessing

July 28th, 2009
9:45 am

I hope others are watching the LSU game- the only thing it will show is that we sucked that night. I like the fact that our players have had to endure an entire offseason with that game being the most recent memory. And I’m pretty confident that these other teams studying that film won’t see the same team we saw that day. Paul Johnson wont’ let that happen. Bring on the season and bring on the Dawgs. We will put you in your place and shut you up again this year. Bring it little puppies.

Robert

July 28th, 2009
9:47 am

Dawg fans, if the Jackets were so crummy, why didn’t his Holiness fire Martinez for a D that allowed such a team to score 45.

Joe Cox for Heisman

July 28th, 2009
9:48 am

we won’t miss a beat this year with the redheaded freckle faced pimple boy Joe Cox. He is going to win the Heisman and we are going to take home the NC this year. Not to mention he can beat anybody at bass fishing, too. Go Dawgs. Woof woof.

We love our Cox

July 28th, 2009
9:51 am

Joe for Heisman. He can throw a football almost as good as he can throw a crankbait or #2 wiggle worm into some structure.

Robert

July 28th, 2009
9:52 am

You’d rather have Cox than Stafford? Sorry your guy isn’t like the three QB Heisman contenders who turned dowm the money for their last year of college.

Paul Johnson

July 28th, 2009
9:53 am

State title is in Atlanta little dawgies, come and get the strap. Space mountain, baby! Stylin’, profilin’, woooooo!! We got the strap. All bark and no bite, come and get it.

DawginLex

July 28th, 2009
9:53 am

If you paid attention to the UGA sports news, you would notice that our AD is upgrading our OOC schedule in the coming years. No one else is playing 3 BCS schools OOC of the caliber we are playing.

Thanks for the personal attacks. That GT class just keeps on shinging through.

DawginLex

July 28th, 2009
9:54 am

shining? not shinging.

although it could be a combo word for shining and singing………

PTC DAWG

July 28th, 2009
9:55 am

He’s a quality back, no doubt…

Not Disappointed

July 28th, 2009
9:56 am

Tell the truth Mark Bradley! Special Teams killed the Jackets in the lsu game.

Dwyer is a force to be respected. Let his gigantic thighs hit you with his head down! “Pure punishment!”

He truly is a Diesel Truck that will be ready to run the Highway. “The Football Field interstate.” Do yourself a favor and stay off the road when he comes a RUNNING!

I don’t know about Dwyer and the Heismen, but we all will see him on Sunday.

Ramblin Wreck!

DawginLex Loser

July 28th, 2009
9:57 am

LoginLex, your OOC schedule couldn’t go anywhere but up. Its been atrocious up until now. Have you actually upgraded it yet or are you still “trying” to upgrade it in the coming years. Big difference.

Volman

July 28th, 2009
9:58 am

Beautiful blog, Mr. Bradley. Very well written. Thank you! So much better than Schultz’s Twittering and Texting conversations with David Pollack.

DawginLex

July 28th, 2009
10:00 am

Have we upgraded it yet? Go read some information comparing 2009 OOC schedules. Get your answer.

Again, thanks for the personal attack. How much did your parents pay for that fine Tech education that taught you that?

Robert

July 28th, 2009
10:01 am

Just think last year at this time, two future first round picks and a couple of later picks to lead Georgia back to the 1980 promised land.
That was almost as cruel a bubble popping as the credit and real estate bubble crash. You were all set to stop listening to Munson repeat Lindsey Scott over and over again. But now that’s all you’ve got again.

Robert

July 28th, 2009
10:03 am

Not disappointed, go reread Mark’s comment. That is exactly what he said.

DawginLex

July 28th, 2009
10:04 am

No robert, we have stockpiled talent galore for 2009 and the future.

Who recruited Dwyer anyway?

Alabama Jack

July 28th, 2009
10:05 am

dawg fans suck

And that’s all I have to say about that.

CFBFan

July 28th, 2009
10:06 am

Are you fing kidding me? Legit Heisman candidate? No one outside of Georgia knows his name.

Robert

July 28th, 2009
10:08 am

Let’s face it. Dawg and Jacket fans need each other. This blog was dying until the Dawg fans showed up for us to argue with.

GT FAN PA

July 28th, 2009
10:08 am

Bankerdawg- Glad to see you back- Always nice to see logic spoken as a true class dawg fan- I love Tech, but here in yankee land always try to pull for them both- Oh course all you hear up here is PENN ST- I would have to agree that JD is going to let his talking be done between the lines-it will be interesting to see how the Jackets improve this year based upon CPJ’s past. The one thing if you look at the Triple option one missed assignment can lead to something big-look at the BC game last year their top LB said the same thing “we blew an assignment” and JD took it to the house-It is based upon teams being undisciplined or over aggressive, which the teams that gave Tech issues were those who stayed in the lanes- if CPJ brings the pass part this year you will see things open up more. The speed should also improve- Look at any of the Navy tapes they have more plays they run then Tech has even scratched upon. yes it will be interesting to see UGA go to OK ST’s house and play- here is to a great season to both-more so for Tech—THWG!

Try selling out a 55,000 seat stadium......

July 28th, 2009
10:10 am

(((38 – 3))) CHICKEN BOWL. I’ll buy a ticket to see him, just for the free hot dog i get at The Varsity with purchase. LOSERS!!!!!

FisheriesDawg

July 28th, 2009
10:10 am

Dwyer is very talented, no doubt (he’s the one player on Tech’s roster that I would trade for in a heartbeat), but he’s going to have a hard time getting much Heisman press unless GT is in the national title hunt. I’m not sure that’s very likely. GT is going to be a lot like Paul Johnson’s Navy teams-capable of beating anyone but also very capable of laying eggs in headscratchers (Virginia, anyone?). Our Lord and Savior Timmy Tebow is the only person in college football allowed to be considered for the Heisman when his team has a mediocre season, and everyone knows this.

DawginLex

July 28th, 2009
10:12 am

Keep rambler and m off of the UGA blogs and these Tech blogs can become cricket chirping filled lovefests without me around.

gte268p

July 28th, 2009
10:12 am

Most of us got real scholarships and paid our own way through Tech since we care about quality educations. This is opposed to others that went to schools that have raquetball, golf, and the fundamentals of basketball as classes that were needed so students could keep the HOPE scholarship and improve their GPA.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

July 28th, 2009
10:13 am

I think what Mark is trying to say here is that Clemson is a bunch of morons. I think that this is something both GT & UGA fans can get behind. This is another example of Clemson’s stupidity along with the selection of a coach. With all these great coaches at Cincy, USF and so forth and they go with Dabo.

Benjamin

July 28th, 2009
10:14 am

Question: If given a choice between Dwyer and Knowshon and future NFL production, who do you take?

I take Moreno…

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

July 28th, 2009
10:15 am

Hey Dawginlex, Uh Georgia recruited Dwyer. They wanted him bad.