It is going to be hard for anyone to overlook running back Eugene Jarvis this year. After gaining a school-record 1,669 rushing yards last year, Jarvis becomes the leading returning rusher in the nation this year. Because of this Jarvis has been named the Maxwell Watch list.
The Maxwell Award is presented annually to the nation’s outstanding collegiate football player. Last year Florida quarterback Tim Tebow won the award while former Notre Dame and current Cleveland brown quarterback Brady Quinn won the award the year before.
Jarvis beat Kent State’s single-season rushing record by more than 300 yards last year while rushing for 139.1 yards a contest. Good enough to be ranked fifth in the nation. He also compiled 1,975 all-purpose yards, which is second in school history, and scored 13 touchdowns.
Although Jarvis is considered a long shot to win the award, he still deserves to be considered as one of the best backs in college football. After all it was Jarvis who provided the spark in the Iowa State game last year allowing Kent State to earn its first win against a BCS conference team since 1987.
If one remembers correctly Jarvis was going to sit out the game hampered by a leg injury until starting running back Darren Rogers left with a shoulder injury late in the first quarter. In just over three quarters Jarvis scampered for 113 yards and one touchdown.
The Ohio State game also gave a glimpse of what Jarvis could do against higher competition. Although the Flashes lost 48-3, Jarvis was able to shine in his very limited duty. He recorded 84 yards in limited first half action against the top-ranked, at the time, Ohio State defense. At the time that was the second most anyone had recorded against the Buckeye’s defense last season.
"Obviously he's the nation's (second) leading rusher for a reason," Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis told me after the game. "When you take him out of the game, it's going to make a big impact."
"He's a good player. He's obviously small and shifty and hard to get a wrap on," he said.
Candidates for the Maxwell Award are selected by the Maxwell Selection Committee and will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show in December.
If you’re interested in reading the story about my story about the Kent State running game against Ohio State you can check that out here. Just ignore the headline blunder it still annoys me to this day.