Tevin Coleman not among 3 Heisman finalists

Indiana rolled out a social media campaign last week that aimed to get Tevin Coleman to New York City as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.

This year, it was not to be.

Coleman, only the 18th player in FBS history to rush for 2,000 yards in a single season, was denied a trip to next week’s award ceremony when the finalists were announced Monday evening. Alabama receiver Amari Cooper, Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota are the only three finalists invited to Saturday’s trophy ceremony.

It is common for only three or four aspirants to receive invitations to New York, although a fifth player has been invited in the past. Last year, the Heisman Trust invited six finalists in a more open race. Mariota is this season’s frontrunner, with Gordon expected to be a close second. Indiana has not had a Heisman finalist since Anthony Thompson finished second in the voting during the 1989 season. Hoosiers running back Vaughn Dunbar (1991) and quarterback Antwaan Randle El (2001) each finished sixth in the voting during their respective seasons. No Indiana player has ever won the Heisman.

Coleman was slotted anywhere from Nos. 3-6 in most Heisman projections. Voters, including The Herald-Times’ Andy Graham and Mike Miller, are only allowed to vote for their top three selections.

Coleman finished the season with 2,036 yards, second only to Gordon’s 2,336. He averaged 169.7 yards per game, totaled 2,177 all-purpose yards and scored 15 touchdowns — all of which came on the ground. The junior emerged as a Heisman contender midway through the year, becoming IU’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Levron Williams in 2001. After the Hoosiers were forced to rely on third-string quarterback Zander Diamont over the final six games of the season, Coleman strengthened his Heisman resume with three big games to close the season.

He rushed for a combined 665 yards and four touchdowns against Rutgers, Ohio State and Purdue to close the season, including a career-best 307 yards on Nov. 15 at Rutgers. He followed that effort with 228 yards and three touchdowns the next week at Ohio State, one of four teams set to play in the College Football Playoff.

Coleman remains a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, given annually to college football’s top running back.


  1. The Heisman is not about who the best player is, it’s about the best player on a winning team. If Sudfeld does not go down, I believe Coleman would be going to New York. Hopefully, he’ll get better treatment by the NFL draft.

  2. Not being invited to NYC does not diminish what this kid did against 8 man fronts once Sudfeld went down. His numbers speak for themselves. I hope he returns for his senior campaign, though I doubt he will. Go Hoosiers!!!

  3. Yeah Podunker, Sudfeld really had IU humming. BGSU, Maryland, great start at Iowa. Your comments are usually pretty good but you’re way off on this one. The receivers certainly were a big part of the problem but Sudfeld was having a garbage year before he got hurt. I sure hope he’s better next year or maybe he gets beat out for the job.

  4. Dunbar – you apparently forgot to take your meds today. Did you not see the Missouri game? I think we win 8 this year with Sufield.

  5. I know Tevin wasn’t gonna win the Heisman, but he deserved a trip to NYC — a heckuva season. But had Sudfeld not gone down, I don’t think Tevin puts up the numbers he did. After Sudfeld’s injury, there was virtually no passing game, meaning a really, really heavy reliance on Coleman. And boy, did he deliver! But if Sudfeld doesn’t get injured, the offense would be closer to 50-50 on passing-running rather than the 80-20 or so it ended up being with Diamont taking the snaps.

  6. He followed that effort with 228 yards and three touchdowns the next week at Ohio State, one of four teams set to play in the College Football Playoff

    Did any other running back come close to putting up those kind of numbers against any of the four College Playoff selections? I’m not sure how the voting works, but it sure seems like Coleman deserved an invite…Finishing strong should have certainly added to the consideration.

    Somewhere along the line, I guess it is probably percieved great players play on great teams….That’s the sad reality of being a standout on a team that struggles to put only one conference victory into their long season. We had to win a couple more of the home games….Any cigar photos really should have been for Coleman…He should have been lofted onto the shoulders of his teammates and shown some true appreciation for the accomplishment…And we shouldn’t ignore the fact that his offensive line gave him some damn good holes to pop some of those big gainers…. But I still hoist Tevin high and carry him off the field after the Bucket game….It would have been a hell of a nice gesture instead of photo ops for Adam Sandler’s “stud.”

  7. IU football: to football starved program fans, a team when they have a player that excels big time and Coleman did, its Heisman trophy to some IU fans. Other examples Randell El, Dunbar, and of course Anthony Thompson. However, after watching some of the top programs around the country skill players frequently make plays that I never see IU players make (except this year from Coleman and in the past El and Thompson) whether it be from OSU, Alabama, Oregon, Florida State or a few others. These teams sometimes have 2 or 3 or maybe more plus guys setting on the bench waiting their turn that stand out. Coleman deserves all the recognition he gets, but I am ok with where he has been rated among the best.

  8. Coleman did all he could do and more to rightfully deserve to have been in the mix. The failure (and it is a failure) is not his. It is Indiana’s and it has implications beyond this exceptional athlete. It’s going to be pretty tough to recruit an athlete of Coleman’s ability if the surrounding program is so inept that we can’t even get the guy to be recognized. This falls squarely into what I have been saying for some time which is that the program’s upward trajectory is NOT exclusively dependent on CKW’s performance but also requires an institutional commitment to marketing/PR and all of the attributes that one sees in our competitors programs. We could have gotten TC to NYC despite the W/L record. That we didn’t is on us!

  9. Gymnast,

    Yes I saw the Missouri game. I also saw the BGSU and Maryland (particularly damning to your absurd 8-win “argument) and Iowa games. IU was 3-3 when sudfeld, who had thrown for all of 6 touchdowns on the season, went down. You’re telling me IU would have gone 5-1 with him the rest of the way? Ha, ok. I hope you realize that would include a victory over o$u and/or Sparty. And IU hasn’t won 8 since 1993, but this was the year, right? Despite a loss to a MAC team that just got housed by 5-win ball state (who Wilson can’t beat either). Also, please spare me the argument that Iowa was up for grabs. It wasn’t. Sud and his early pick 6 made sure of that.

  10. IU winning 8 games is a reach. We would’ve competed for 6, but no way 8. Sudfeld or no Sudfeld. Let’s win at least 6 games first, then let’s talk about winning 8 games.

  11. Dunbar, anyone paying attention this season knew Sudfeld was not off to a great start before he went down to injury. Several reasons why and not all were his fault. But that does not mean the threat he posed to defenses was eliminated. And without that threat, Coleman was basically IU’s only weapon the remainder of the season. He faced 7 and 8 men in the box every game after Sudfeld went down. Defenses were daring IU’s freshman QB to pass! Even with Sudfeld at below par, the threat of his passing ability would have opened up a lot more opportunities for Coleman, by forcing defenses to guard against the pass, sustaining drives (or reducing three-and-outs), and thereby giving Coleman a lot more carries. More carries = more yards and more touchdowns. It’s not rocket science. I’m far from alone on this one, so you may want to reconsider who is “way off” on this one.

  12. Comparing performances against the Buckeyes is all you need to know as to whether TC belongs in NYC. Coleman 228 rushing yards, Gordon 71 yards.

    Pathway to 6 wins much easier with a healthy Sudfeld + development of WR’s increases steadily over the season vs. not having our starting QB.

  13. I echo Geoff’s inquiry a few days ago as to why do I have to keep entering the required personal data every time I post? What’s up? In fact on the last occasion, post #14, I erroneously identified myself as H.

  14. Did Walter Payton win the Heisman? Gayle Sayers?
    Franco Harris? How about that guy on Dallas right now….? What’s his name? Murphy? Did he win the Heisman? Was Tom Brady a Heisman candidate? Did Peyton Manning win the Heisman?

    I guess Earl Campbell did win the Heisman? I only mentioned Earl Campbell because that’s the explosive, upright, style that I see in Tevin….Not really a cutback runner..or a guy that changes direction on the dime(Sayers)…Not especially punishing upper body strength and built to take carry after carry after carry after carry(Sweetness)….Coleman has that ability to slither through a narrow opening and it’s off to the races…Gets around the corner deceptively fast and the breakaway burst could challenge Secretariat at the Derby.

    He’s a fabulous runner….We shouldn’t play the victim act merely because it’s Indiana Football…Coleman earned every yard . Many of history’s greatest in the game never sniffed the Heisman.

    Top Four Schools with most Heisman’s:

    Ohio State 7
    Notre Dame 7
    USC 7
    Oklahoma 5

    Just think of the number of fans in the stands that have filled those first three schools…Just think of the national following those first three programs…

    Is there a chance to be noticed elsewhere? Of course. On a team that wins one conference game and wears helmets that look like something Evil Knievel would strap on for a Caesars Palace jump? Helmets don’t get you noticed…Winning gets you noticed…Successfully leaping into respectable football gets you noticed.

    Nobody was fooling Tevin when he signed to play for Indiana….He’s not a victim act. He’s the victim of decades of not taking football very seriously while banner ceremonies and All-Americans were surrounding one of the most notable hardwood stages in history…Once Knight was run out of town…we noticed a football stadium across the gravel parking lot we used to have to park our cars while living as freshmen at Foster Quad.

  15. The HT contest over the last 25 years has grown into a flavor of the month popularity poll. After all over a dozen in that time frame never saw a second contract in the NFL. Eric Crouch and Tim Tebow were both jokes perpetrated on fans by systems designed to play in. The overall hype though is good for CFB.

    Also TC’s running style looks like a blend of Curtiss Martin and Marcus Allen.

    Like everybody I have my thoughts about Coleman. Because of the slug of RB’s available for the draft this year there is a 50-50 chance he returns for a Sr. season(it could add 3m to his 1st NFL contract and increase the guaranteed portion by a mil and a half not to mention a substantial increase in signing bonus. In other words he may soon realize it would create a more harmonious outcome.

    Again I ask why do I keep having to reestablish my identity?????????????? It is a small aggravation but it never has been needed before.

  16. HC, can a college football player, outside the most obvious top ten prospects, ever obtain a realistic estimate of where he will be taken in the NFL draft before he commits to the draft process and thereby forfeits his college eligibility? You see guys projected to go high in the draft every year who drop several rounds, costing them millions of dollars in guaranteed money. How reliable are the consultants and GMs who often provide advice to the college coaches and the families of the college players?

    Assuming their is no problem with his academics, Coleman has to weigh the potential risk of getting hurt playing for a mediocre college team for another year against the potential guaranteed money of being a late first round or second round pick in the 2015 draft. I don’t see any of this year’s running backs being drafted in the top ten picks (there are just too many good running backs to justify making one a top ten pick). He’s basically going to roll the dice no matter what he decides.

  17. “Assuming there is no problem with…” Sorry, brain cramp on that one. Their – there, moral – morale, to – too, effect – affect, mute – moot, etc.

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