Moving into the Heisman Limelight

Defensive players don't win the Heisman.

It has happened once, in 1997, when Michigan's Charles Woodson took home the Heisman Trophy -- although he also gained fame as a punt returner and occasional wide receiver.

A defensive player won't win the award this year, either, although it's unclear why at least one top defender hasn't gained any notice at all.

I mean, how can you miss him? Terrence Cody is 6 feet 5 inches, 355 pounds.

Alabama's senior nose tackle is the best player on what might be college football's top defense, yet the Heisman front-runner headed into the most recent games was teammate Mark Ingram, a running back who, with the spotlight on him against Auburn, was held to 30 yards in 16 carries.

Meantime, Cody spent the game as he usually does, being double- and triple-teamed, plugging up the line of scrimmage and opening opportunities for the rest of Alabama's defense.

Cody is a finalist for all the top linemen and defensive player awards, yet he nary receives a mention in Heisman talk.

An update on some of the more popular Heisman candidates -- and another personal favorite who has been overlooked:

-- Colt McCoy, Sr., QB, Texas: Back as Heisman front-runner after completing 24 of 40 passes for 304 yards and four touchdowns in 49-39 win over Texas A&M Thursday. Also ran for career-best 175 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown.

-- Tim Tebow, Sr., QB, Florida: Completed 17 of 21 passes for 221 yards and three touchdowns in 37-10 win over Florida State. Also ran 15 times for 90 yards and two touchdowns.

-- Kellen Moore, So., QB, Boise State: Completed 17 of 33 passes for 262 yards and five touchdowns in 44-33 win over Nevada on Friday.

-- Toby Gerhart, Sr., RB, Stanford: Ran for 205 yards and three touchdowns in 29 carries, had one reception for 33 yards and threw an 18-yard touchdown pass in 45-38 win over Notre Dame.

-- Mardy Gilyard, Sr., WR, Cincinnati: Had seven catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns in 49-36 win over Illinois on Friday. Also returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. Has 13 touchdowns and 2,061 all-purpose yards this season.

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