Why Not Marquise Williams For Heisman?


North Carolina has had some pretty good quarterbacks in recent years, from Darian Durant T.J. Yates to Bryn Renner. All three of those QBs have spent time in the NFL or CFL. Renner is the most recent graduate to professional football and is having a good preseason stint with the Baltimore Ravens. Durant is a star in the CFL, playing for the Roughriders. And T.J. Yates won an NFL playoff game with the Houston Texans.

As good as each of those three quarterbacks are, none are as electric a player as Marquise Williams. Perhaps Yates and Renner and Durant were better pocket passers, more consistent, or better leaders in the locker room. But Marquise has a certain electricity about him, an ability to always make a big play that quite frankly hasn’t existed at the QB spot in Chapel Hill for years.

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Williams is fast enough to outrun DBs on long touchdown runs but strong enough to power past smaller defenders at the goal line. He commands attention on read-option plays and takes care of the ball.

Williams is also a true dual-threat quarterback. His arm equals or even surpasses the abilities of his legs. He has a good understanding of Carolina’s offense, can complete short touch throws with very good accuracy and still air it out and toss long TD bombs to Mack Hollins or Ryan Switzer.

In short, Marquise Williams is a very good quarterback. But he has been passed over on the hype train by many other ACC quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson, Brad Kaaya and Justin Thomas for reasons largely out of his control. Williams doesn’t get the same amount of attention despite being just as good of a QB because his team isn’t quite as good.

David Hale of ESPN has picked up on this, tweeting out two revealing tweets that show how well Marquise stacks up against any QB in the country.

Every single name on the list above is either playing in the NFL this fall or getting massive amounts of hype for the Heisman Trophy. Yet, Marquise Williams ranked 25th out of 25 on FanSided.com’s list of 2015 Heisman Trophy contenders, and he hasn’t shown up at all on many dark-horse lists this preseason.

Marquise Williams deserves more respect. Just because his team went 6-7 and lost listlessly in the Quick Lane Bowl last December doesn’t mean he shouldn’t get any respect from National Media for individual awards.

I think I could go ahead and guarantee that if Marquise Williams transferred to Alabama tomorrow and played for them this season, he would immediately jump up to the top of Heisman lists. I can’t stress this enough — he is really good at quarterback, as good as anyone in the country.

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The biggest knock against Marquise would be inconsistent play, especially late in the season against State and Rutgers in “the bowl game that shall not be named.” But I think his inconsistency was partly due to inconsistent line play in those games. The offensive line should be better in 2015, and Marquise Williams is a year more experienced and healthy, which should lead to a much more consistent football player in 2015.

One way Marquise Williams can gain a lot of respect and prove to a national audience that he is worthy of Heisman and ACC Player of the Year votes is by playing well against South Carolina this Thursday night.

On national TV in front of a football-hungry national audience in an NFL stadium, Marquise Williams can show off his arm and legs against an SEC defense. A strong performance there would go a long way towards helping the Marquise Williams Heisman Hype train.

Unfortunately, though, UNC will have to probably win 10 games and make a run at an ACC Championship for Marquise to ever get a serious look at the award. It is an individual award, but much like MVP awards in the MLB, NFL and NBA, it is hard for a great player on a bad team to win, no matter how great he is.

Even if the team doesn’t do well, the fanbase should get behind Marquise and hype up his campaign for the award. Marquise is a special quarterback. The Carolina fanbase should not just be pondering but giving confident “yes” answers to the question of “Why not Marquise Williams for Heisman?”

Next: Film Room Breakdown of Marquise Williams