Kenny Pickett: The Best Player in College Football

Kenny Pickett is set to make history, potentially becoming the first Heisman from Pitt since 1976.


Photo: TribLIVE

With the 2021 Regular Season for college football coming to a close, the Heisman race is now down to 4 candidates. Of them, Pitt Quarterback Kenny Pickett has quietly been making a great case for himself, and after an elite performance in the ACC Championship, he could very well take the hardware for himself.

Being a 5th year Senior, hopes were high for him coming into this season. However, Pickett has shattered all expectations as he has put up 334 completions for 4319 yards and 42 Touchdowns and completing 67.2% of his passes. He has led Pitt to an 11-2 record and the 12th ranked team in the nation. The team is the highest ranked it has been since 2009, and they have not had this good of a record since they went 11-1 in 1981. This is while they have averaged the 3rd most points per game at 43 while being 43rd defensively in points allowed.

Not only that, but in their losses he combined for 900 yards, 9 touchdowns to 3 interceptions and completed 72.1% of passes. Miami was the only game where he played what was considered subpar, but for the entire season he has shown to have the best QB season in Pitt history with more yards and TDs than anyone else, all while making the teams consistently competitive.

The biggest knock against him is the competition.

The ACC has been the 3rd tier conference in college football, behind the SEC and Big 10 and arguably worse than the Big 12 as well. In fact, he only faced 3 defenses that were top 70 in the nation in yards, with Clemson being the only opponent in the top 20. However, this gets nullified when you realize Pitt is not a powerhouse school, and aside from Freshman standout Jordan Addison, his overall offensive help is worse than any other candidate by a sizable margin.

Now his competition for Heisman consists of 3 guys: Michigan Defensive Lineman, Adrian Hutchinson; Ohio State QB, C.J. Stroud; and Alabama QB, Bryce Young. Comparing Hutchinson to Pickett is pretty pointless as they play on two different sides of the ball, but the other 2 can be done. These are how they compare in each Stat:

Completions -1. 334, Kenny Pickett 2. 315, Bryce Young 3. 280, C.J Stroud

Completion Percentage -1. 70.9%, C.J Stroud 2. 68%, Bryce Young 3. 67.2%, Kenny Pickett

Passing Yards -1. 4322, Bryce Young  2. 4319, Kenny Pickett 3. 3862, C.J Stroud

Touchdowns -1. 43, Bryce Young 2. 42, Kenny Pickett 3. 38, C.J Stroud

Interceptions – 1. 4, Bryce Young 2. 5, C.J. Stroud 3. 7, Kenny Pickett

Yards From Scrimmage (Rushing/Receiving) -1. 233, Kenny Pickett 2. 31, Bryce Young 3. -31, C.J Stroud

Touchdowns from Scrimmage -1. 5, Kenny Pickett 2. 3, Bryce Young 3. 0, C.J Stroud

Team Record -1. 12-1, Bryce Young 2. 11-2, Kenny Pickett 3. 9-2, C.J Stroud

Just on Paper, Pickett has put up a good enough resume to compete with the best in the nation.

However, what separates Pickett from the rest is his rushing abilities, as he was far better than the two, as despite only 233 total yards that includes losses from sacks. He is the best runner and scrambler with the best deep range accuracy of them all and comparable stats in very single category including team record. He has done more with less than anyone else in the country, and has proven himself to not just be the best quarterback in college football but the most valuable player in it too.

At the end of the Heisman ceremony, Kenny Pickett should be the one going home with the hardware.