Similar to Justin Thomas, Keenan Reynolds is the perfect fit in a triple-option offense capable of racking up huge yardage on the ground. A near carbon copy of Thomas at 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, Reynolds has put up even more impressive numbers in his career – especially on the ground.
Despite missing two games, he led FBS quarterbacks with 1,191 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns in 2014 after amassing a staggering 1,346 yards and 31 TDs on the ground as a sophomore in 2013.
Among his best games last season were a 277-yard, six-touchdown performance in a 52-19 victory over Sun Belt champion Georgia Southern and a 251-yard, three-touchdown game against San Jose State. In 2013 against SJSU he had 240 yards and a career-high seven (!) touchdown runs.
To make a case for the Heisman Trophy in 2015, Reynolds needs a lot of things to fall into place. First of all, he’ll need stay healthy. Second, Reynolds probably needs to lead the Midshipmen to a conference title in their first season in the American, and an 11-1 record (with a likely loss to Notre Dame) that could earn them a spot in the New Year’s Six.
Then, he’ll need to improve as a passer. Reynolds has 2,798 career passing yards and just 23 TDs through the air in three seasons as a starter. His completion percentage has gone down in each season (from 56.5% in 2012 to 53.1% in 2013 and 46.8% last year), and hit 1,000 passing yards once (1,057 yards in 2013).
But, if everything clicks for the Middies and if Reynolds breaks loose for close to 2,000 rushing yards and scores 40 total TDs, he could become a household name and a Heisman Trophy candidate.
Next: Brandon Doughty