Friday, May 10, 2013

Next up for Hall: Paul Woodrow Palmer

Vinny Testaverde smiles while Paul Palmer and Brian Bosworth applaud at the 1986 Heisman announcement.

Paul Palmer gets introduced by the late,
great Bob Hope on Bob's All-American Show.
Someone, maybe one of the first math professors in the Stone Age, said it best:
"Numbers don't lie."
If so, expect Paul Woodrow Palmer to follow Temple's Wayne Hardin into the Hall of Fame soon, maybe as soon as next year.
By the numbers, Palmer compares favorably with this year's two running back inductees, Wisconsin's Ron Dayne and North Carolina State's Ted Brown.
Here they are:

Career Rushing Yards/Highest Season
100-yard games
Highest single game-rushing Yards
Paul Palmer
Ted Brown
Ron Dayne

That's not even counting the most important numbers:
In just his Heisman Trophy runner-up season of 1986, Palmer posted 2,633 all-purpose yards, ahead of Dayne's best year (2,422, 1999) and Brown's best year (1,672).
When it comes to moving the sticks, yards any way you can get them count just as much as a handoff from the line of scrimmage.
Also interesting was the fact that Palmer tossed not one, but two touchdown passes, one in his sophomore year and one in his senior years.
More than the numbers, though, were his durability and versatility.
Palmer could run between the tackles, outside the tackles, was an outstanding receiver and, was 3 for 7 throwing the ball during his senior season _ very good numbers for a non-quarterback.
He was fast, shifty and had great moves in the open field as well.
Bernard Pierce was a great back but, in my view, having seen all of the games both Paul and Bernard played, there was only one thing Pierce did better than Palmer and that was straight-line speed in the open field. Still, Palmer was fast enough with the ball in his hands and never injured (or seemingly never injured).
The fact that Palmer played his entire career against a Top 10 schedule while playing for Temple and finished No. 2 in the Heisman balloting in 1986 adds to his impressive Hall of Fame resume.
I can't think of anyone on next year's list as deserving.