The ball is my friend!
6'3, 210 lbs. Great hands and leaping ability combined with body control and unteachable all-around athleticism. With size, strength, and deceptive agility for his size, he's incredibly dangerous after the catch.
From the moment he burst on the scene as a true frosh, KA21 has had Cal fans collectively holding their breaths in awe.
Injuries slowed a promising freshman debut, but Keenan Allen dispelled any notion of a sophomore jinx by leading the nation in receiving through the first part of 2011.
But does he actually have a chance at earning himself a trip to NYC for Heisman consideration?
The Case Against:
1) Pre-season hype: Although KA has some name recognition, Cal doesn't have the street cred for national acclaim.
2) All-purpose yardage: The last two wide receivers to win the Heisman were Tim Brown and Desmond Howard. Each of them excelled as kick returners, punt returners, and receivers. Keenan might get some touches fielding punts, but it's doubtful that Coach Tedford would risk him returning kickoffs. And sadly enough, our special teams play is average at best, with mediocre being a more appropriate ranking. His opportunities to shine will be limited.
3) Big Plays: On the plus side, Keenan should be Zach Maynard's favorite target. On the minus, everyone knows this and will scheme to take him away. With new starters at tight end and the other wide receiver slots, it's unknown whether Cal will be able to make teams pay for doubling Allen.
4) Production: The Cal offense worked best last year when it switched gears to a ground-oriented attack that selectively took shots downfield. Although we started the year with a pass-first approach that resulted in KA leading the nation in receiving, the results were decidedly uneven when it came to wins and losses. Considering that Zach Maynard's QB rating improved over a hundred points with the more balanced approach, expect more of the same.
The Case For:
1) He's Keenan Allen!
Honestly, if KA21 is in the Heisman discussion, then a _lot_ of things would have gone right for Cal football. I'm completely okay with that. Go Bears!
For other Pac-12 Heisman candidates, check out Avinash Kunnath's story at Pacific Takes.
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