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Ryan Switzer Mentions the "H" Word

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Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

As in Heisman.

Via Inside Carolina.

"Any time you can get in the end zone as many times as I did and any time you can perform like I did, your confidence is going to skyrocket," Switzer told reporters at the Kenan Football Center recently. "I set some big goals for my freshman year and I’ve set even bigger goals coming into my sophomore and junior seasons. I feel like if I can continue to do what I’ve been doing, I can possibly win a Heisman."

While Switzer is on record as "definitely" wanting to break his own NCAA single-season record for punt returns for touchdown (also shared by Hawaii’s Chad Owens, ‘04), he doesn’t have a set number of touchdowns that he’s aiming for this fall.

"If we’re winning and we’re beating teams pretty bad, then my numbers will come," Switzer said. "I don’t like to set a limit on one because if I hit that limit, I may get satisfied and I don’t want that."

I have zero issue with Ryan Switzer setting high goals, especially since he couches it as "possible" and not definite. The only definite goal he has is breaking the single season punt return record which he already shares with Hawaii's Chad Owens. Since he's done it once, that is certainly on the table though I am guessing he sees fewer returnable punts this season. As for the Heisman Trophy, yes it's possible but is it probable?

The recent history of the award says it's unlikely. At this point a player either has to be a quarterback or running back putting up ridiculous numbers to get consideration for college football's top honor. Said player is usually on a team that hangs around in the top ten and even gets hype as a possible national title contender. Switzer doesn't fit the former category in terms of position and while UNC could very well win the Coastal Division of the ACC, the latter may not apply either.

Still, one reason we find sports compelling is the propensity for unpredictability. If seasons unfolded according to everyone's expectations, I am not sure we would be nearly as entertained as we are by the games we watch. Switzer probably doesn't have a real chance to win the Heisman unless he puts up mind boggling numbers as both a returner and receiver. As he noted, if he does that, he could sneak into the Heisman conversation.

Ultimately this sort of thing is a statement of Switzer's growing confidence and his intent on being an impact player both on special teams and the offense. UNC coach Larry Fedora says Switzer has "little man's syndrome" which is to say the sophomore wide receiver loves taking on long odds and proving people wrong. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won't but if Switzer improves on what he did last season, the Tar Heels will be better as a team for it. If Ryan Switzer setting his sights on the Heisman Trophy is a motivational means to that end, I say go for it.