It's November. That means we're less than two months away from the presentation of the first-ever Piesman Trophy, an award meant to honor college football linemen for non-lineman feats, such as scoring touchdowns.
We've seen some truly great Piesman-worthy plays this year, and I figured it was time to start thinking about my vote. So I compiled a preliminary Piesman ballot with a few weeks left in the season.
The actual Piesman ballot will call for voters (including myself) to compile their top three nominees, but I included five. This is just my thinking right now, of course. There is still plenty of time for contenders to change my mind.
No. 5: Austin Johnson, DT, Penn State, 323 pounds
Johnson had this 71-yard fumble return for touchdown against San Diego State. It's a drag race to the end zone, and he's got the nitrous.
His acceleration just blows San Diego State's entire offense away. Within a few seconds, he's in a frame all by himself. But more amazing than that, he keeps up the speed! He sprints to paydirt, unbothered.
This doesn't come as the result of a nifty play design and doesn't involve somebody getting embarrassed, so it might not rack up Piesman points the way it should. But this award is about honoring linemen doing non-linemen things. And Johnson's pure speed qualifies.
No. 4: Jarquez Samuel, DL, Marshall, 287 pounds
Marshall had the quick hands to pick this pass off against Southern Miss and then went truly spectacular to get into the end zone.
A great FAT GUY TOUCHDOWN is usually capped off with a swan dive. Touchdown Marshall. pic.twitter.com/LWcrH9knDu— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) October 10, 2015
Not often you see somebody close to 300 pounds leaping like this. Honestly, he probably didn't need to. Samuel could've sidestepped the fallen QB to get the ball into the end zone. But he opted to punch it in like an RB on fourth-and-1. And we appreciate that. It's like when somebody decided to hit a bellyflop off the big diving board at camp: unnecessary, graceful and terrifying.
No. 3: Cory "Poop" Johnson, DT, Kentucky 300 pounds
The play itself is pretty okay, a 77-yard score against Tennessee:
But I'll be honest. I'm heavily biased by the fact that his nickname is "Poop."
No. 2: Le'Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech, 308 pounds
Clark gets a bump for having TWO Piesman plays, one being this amazing two-point conversion on a wonderful trick play against Kansas.
Sideways direct snap to an offensive lineman. Gorgeous.
But he also showed quick hands to reel in a reception and then moved 13 yards downfield after the catch.
That first guy thought he could tackle an offensive lineman. That first guy thought wrong.
Both of Le'Raven's plays feature neat moments to even get the ball in his hand, but it's the moves that have Le'Raven this high.
No. 1: LaQuan McGowan, TE, Baylor, 410 pounds
Yeah, it's gonna be hard to bump LaQuan from the top spot. It's rarely easy to move a 410-pound man.
McGowan is listed as a TE, but he's Piesman-eligible due to his past as an offensive lineman. And I haven't seen anything this year like McGowan juking that Kansas safety, who somehow came out from this alive.