John Robertson has been an All-American, he's won the CAA conference title, broken records all over the place. When it comes to accolades and hardware, there are only two things left for him to to in his career at Villanova: win the National Championship, and bring home the Heisman Trophy.
What's that, you said? Villanova is an FCS school, that's not possible? Au contraire, mes amis!
The Heisman Trophy is awarded annually by the Heisman Trust (and historically before that by the Downtown Athletic Trust) to "the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity." There is no requirement that it be awarded to a player in the sport's top college subdivision.
In fact, while a I-AA player has never won the award, a couple have found their way into the picture -- most notably Alcorn State quarterback Steve McNair, who came in third in the Heisman voting in 1994, but others like Holy Cross' Gordy Lockbaum also finished high in the voting, and the legendary Jerry Rice also finished in the top-10 of the voting in 1984. So there is some precedent for this sort of thing.
For Robertson, there's definitely an argument to be made that his efforts, despite their less-than-lofty conference-standing, are worthy of similar recognition. The Villanova quarterback enters this season as the reigning Walter Payton Award-winner, a prize given to the best player in FCS football, as voted on by reporters covering the subdivision (and sadly VU Hoops doesn't have a vote, so it wasn't rigged at all), and a favorite to win it again this Fall. Robertson is a preseason First Team All-American, and in 2014 he completed 197-of-301 passes (65.4%) with 35 touchdowns and three interceptions to go with 227 carries for a team-high 1,078 yards and 11 scores, and he is one of only two players in school history to have three 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
You could argue that accumulating those stats is much easier for Robertson, who doesn't have to face SEC defenses, but here is why you might compare him to the top players in the nation: His passing efficiency of 181.3. Robertson was first in the nation in that category last season, the only player n FBS who was more efficient was Heisman winner Marcus Mariota -- whose rating was just 0.4 higher at 181.7. Nobody else in either subdivision was close.
Robertson isn't being mentioned as one of the nation's best and he hasn't made any vaunted watchlists. Most of the media members who put those lists together haven't seen him play. Perhaps things would be different if he hadn't suffered a concussion and the 'Cats had made it to the Fargo Dome in the playoffs. It's too late to change that.
It is also too late to change the fact that John Robertson is one of the nation's best, most dynamic, and most-exciting players to watch -- at any level of NCAA Football.
So here we go.
Let's kick it off. If nobody else will do it, VU Hoops will be your headquarters for the John Robertson Heisman campaign. We're begging for votes, we'll be shameless, because this kid deserves it. He's Johnny Football without the ego. He's a mini-Tim Tebow who is really good at passing the ball (okay, so nothing like Tebow). He's one of the best and he deserves a vote.