It’s time for a new grassroots campaign to sweep the nation. The time has come to push for running back Rashaad Penny to get Heisman consideration. Roll out the red carpet, crank up the hashtag generator, write a jingle, make a snapchat filter for it, you get the point – pull out all the stops.
Obviously, the first snap of the 2017 season hasn’t even happened, and fall camp is just beginning, but that just means the atmospheric conditions are perfect for a Heisman hype storm surrounding Penny.
Yes, it’s an uphill battle to get most of San Diego to agree on a single campaign, so let’s start with a simple list of pros and cons:
Heisman Trophy hype means people are talking about your program, and when you get talked about you get on TV. In 2017, SDSU will have games broadcasted on three different networks with six games kicking off after 7:30 p.m. Pacific time, not exactly easy viewing for a Heisman hopeful, with the vast number of Heisman voters based on the East Coast. Getting the word out that Penny is a “must see” player means the potential for several games on the schedule to be flexed into prime network broadcast slots and a large national audiences.
It plays well in recruiting. Demonstrating that SDSU can provide star high school athletes with a stage to make a national name for themselves means a great deal. High school kids want you to believe in their “brand” as much as you believe in their skills, and putting on a full-fledged Heisman campaign will show future commits the lengths that SDSU is willing to go to promote their athletes.
On a local level it means putting butts in the seats. The loss of the Chargers has thrown the future of San Diego football stadiums (be it either the American or the European version) into serious limbo. Elevating Penny to the level of football super-star via a Heisman campaign can help bring more football fans to Qualcomm this season. Throughout the past year the university has publicly maintained that building a 35,000-seat stadium is a necessity for the future success and growth of the Aztec football program. Having a bump in attendance to see a Heisman hopeful can go a long way in helping prove to the local powers that the market really exists for investing in SDSU football.
It gives a hardworking senior the recognition he deserves. Last season Penny totaled 1,866 yards of offense (while splitting the workload with the all-time leading rusher in NCAA history, Donnel Pumphrey). Penny’s 1,866 yards stack up well against the competition of other running backs on preseason Heisman watch lists, including Alabama’s Bo Scarbrough and LSU’s Derrius Guice. Penny will be the featured back in the Aztec’s 2017 offense and has a chance to put up monster numbers, or as some would say, Heisman numbers.
Cool Aztec t-shirts!
Can’t really think of any… Honestly, what is the downside to this campaign? Do you ever remember looking back on a school touting a kid for Heisman, even one who flamed out early, and thought, “man, that was a silly investment”? Probably not. Put the proper time, investment, and creativity into this campaign, and it can only galvanize SDSU fans locally, and nationally.
So, what do you say, #PennyForHeisman ?