Oregon Football: Can Kayvon Thibodeaux win 2021 Heisman Trophy?

Winning the Heisman Trophy isn’t easy. One player in college football takes home the most prestigious award every year and it’s usually a quarterback or running back. For everyone else, the odds aren’t great.

In fact, DeVonta Smith was the first non-quarterback to win the award since 2015 and first receiver to take it home since 1991. Usually it’s a quarterback or running back but Smith’s season was so unreal that it would have been criminal to not give him the award.

Defenders have an even tougher time winning the award.

A defensive player hasn’t won the Heisman since 1997 and the closest they have gotten since were just a couple of finalists such as Chase Young and Ndamukong Suh.

Kayvon Thibodeaux is trying to change that.

When talking to the media on Monday about spring practice, Thibodeaux revealed that he has been playing more stand-up linebacker as opposed to a down edge rusher in Tim DeRuyter’s new defense. He also believes this will help him in his quest for the Heisman.

He’s not wrong. A defensive lineman has a tough time winning the award but if he plays linebacker, he can do a little of everything to prove he’s the best player in the country.

Can the Oregon football star actually win the award?

Thibodeaux posted this picture on his Twitter page Tuesday after his quotes made their rounds and it drew plenty of hate from rival fans and encouragement from Oregon faithful.

The confidence is a big thing. He knows that he faces a massive uphill battle in terms of trying to bring home the prestigious trophy, but he believes in himself.

Can he realistically win the award?

The move to linebacker should help his numbers and boost his odds of winning the Heisman but he’d need video game-like stats to really win the voters over. They’re more likely to give the award to a quarterback who has a big season or a running back who rushes for 2,000 yards as opposed to a linebacker who racks up 100-plus tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 10-plus sacks.

Voters believe that defenders can’t lead their teams to wins while quarterbacks and running backs can single-handedly change games. That’s the sad reality of the matter.

Vegas sees Thibodeaux as a dark-horse and there’s a chance he could be a finalist, but he’ll need an all-time great season to be considered a real option. If he continues to rush the passer at a high level and prove to be elite both the run and the pass, he could get some votes.

We all believe in Thibodeaux and we’re going to jump on the “#Kayvon4Heisman” hype train anyways.