Adding a Heisman Winner to Army 2012

Barry Sanders (AP Photo)

This month saw the release of NCAA Football 2013, the much anticipated annual update to EA Sports college football video game franchise. As always the game features significant technical, graphical, and gameplay updates, and this year one of the most talked about features is the Heisman Challenge mode.

In this mode players can add one of ten selected former Heisman Trophy winners to any 2012 squad and use their digital likeness to tear a path of destruction through this season's schedule.

So, with that in mind it is time to decide which of the ten legends of the game would be the best fit for the 2012 Army Black Knights.

The first thing to note when assessing the potential additions to the Army roster is that EA have chosen to go with modern era players when selecting the available legends. Though the Heisman itself dates back to 1935, Marcus Allen (USC 1981) is the furthest back the company decided to go with its day 1 release. This unfortunately means that Army Heisman winners like Mr. Outside Glenn Davis and his 11.5 yards per carry (which is just ridiculous by historical or modern standards) are unavailable at this point. Also of note is that the options are only offensive skill position players (sorry Charles Woodson) with five quarterbacks, four running backs, and a single wide receiver.

When looking at a player to add to the offense there is no point in adding a piece which wouldn't fit the scheme. With the option attack which Army runs this is even more important than it would be for passing oriented schools. Simply taking the offensive system into account we can rule out Desmond Howard (the WR), Carson Palmer (pocket passer), Charlie Ward (great athlete but not a great fit), and Andre Ware (unreal arm but a run and shoot guy). Already we are down to six.

That leaves two quarterbacks and four running backs to choose from. Doug Flutie and Robert Griffin III would both be good options. Flutie has enough moxie for ten players and was mobile enough to do some damage in a system like this even though his is not a pure runner, while Griffin III was one of the best athletes to play quarterback in NCAA history and would be terrifying when he got loose in the secondary. Durability would be something of a concern for both however. The running backs all have skill sets which would transfer to the team, and all four (Allen, Hershel Walker, Barry Sanders, and Eddie George) could help in a big way.

It's worth noting however that Army has a stud running back already in junior Raymond Maples who ran for 7.3 yards per carry in 2011. I think that the best way for Army to add a piece would be to add another skilled and elusive runner to the option system, and when you think about skilled and elusive runners there is literally no one greater than Barry Sanders. Adding Sanders would create match up nightmares all over the field defensively as both he and Maples would be able to break off huge, gouging runs at any point during the game. Sanders was an All-World player at Oklahoma State, now put him in the open spaces the option game produces and watch him just explode.

So if you find yourself playing NCAA 2013, take this advice and make Barry Sanders an Army Black Knight.

ArmySports.com Recommended Stories