Move Over Fournette: Dalvin Cook is a Serious Heisman Contender


I know what you’re thinking: Don’t overreact, it’s just one game. Plus, who’s to say Miami is even that good? They’re not what they used to be.

Fair, and fair.

However, with so much attention being drawn to LSU’s star running back Leonard Fournette for his performances against lesser opponents, who’s to say that Florida State running back Dalvin Cook isn’t worthy of the same Heisman Trophy consideration? Let’s put Fournette and Cook head to head with their stats to date thus far.

  •  Fournette
    • Attempts:119
    • Yards: 1022
    • Yards Per Carry: 8.6
    • Touchdowns: 12
  • Cook
    • Attempts: 88
    • Yards: 792
    • Yards Per Carry: 9.0
    • Touchdowns: 8

At the surface, it would seem as if Leonard Fournette would have the upper hand as both teams enter week seven with a 5-0 record. LSU’s quarterback Brandon Harris has not exactly settled in comfortably as the team’s lead signal caller, which has forced Fournette’s workload to perhaps even exceed the expectations of their head coach, Les Miles. With that being said, you cannot take anything away from what Fournette has accomplished thus far in 2015. His combination of size, speed, and athleticism make him one of the most sure-fire top ten picks to play on Sundays (when he’s eligible after next season) as we have seen in quite sometime.

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However, with Cook and Fournette going head to head in this race, it’s only fair to compare Cook’s situation at Florida State to the one just outlined above. Everett Golson, though still learning the offense at quarterback for the Seminoles, has shown more proficiency as a passer in comparison to Brandon Harris, leading to a more pass heavy offense at Florida State, compared to that at LSU. Due to this, Cook has carried the ball a total of 31 less attempts than Fournette. If forecasting Dalvin Cook’s carries at the same rate as Fournette, here are the numbers you should come up with:

  • Attempts: 119
  • Yards: 1071
  • Yards Per Carry: 9.0
  • Touchdowns: 10

Those numbers are eerily similar to those of Fournette at a similar production, against what we can argue as similar caliber of opponent through the season’s first six weeks. LSU has faced off against Mississippi State, Auburn, Syracuse, Eastern Michigan, and South Carolina. Florida State has played Texas State, South Florida, Boston College, Wake Forest, and Miami. Before I get flack for calling these opponents “similar,” keep in mind that Mississippi State and Auburn are a combined 7-4 on the season with losing records in the SEC, South Carolina has now been down for a second consecutive year, and Florida State faced off against a Boston College team that currently boasts the number one overall defense, statistically, in the country.

Sure, LSU will play tougher opponents the rest of the season in comparison to Florida State. You’re not going to get a superiority argument between the SEC and ACC with me. However, until Fournette does something remarkable, and I mean absolutely remarkable, against an SEC defense like the Alabama Crimson Tide, I think it is premature to hand the Heisman Trophy to the man halfway through the season.

Dalvin Cook singlehandedly beat Miami on Saturday night, carrying the ball 22 times for 222 yards and two touchdowns, while also pulling in three catches for 47 yards and another touchdown. The 269 all-purpose yards and three total touchdowns on national television against an in-state conference rival opened the eyes of many across the country, but not those who have seen him compete week in and week out over his first season and a half in Tallahassee.

He’s the best running back the Seminoles have had in the last decade, and he’s a Heisman contender.

That’s not an overreaction, that’s just the truth.