Been racking my brain all season because Mardy Gilyard has reminded me of someone, and I couldn't figure out who. Until yesterday it struck me.
When I worked at a newspaper in Indiana in the 1980s, I remember covering a Purdue football game at Notre Dame early in Tim Brown's final season. Brown was electrifying. You could not turn your back, go to the concession stand or restroom when Brown was on the field because you might miss something special.
I have felt that way about Gilyard all season. I am not alone. Nippert Stadium buzzed when the guy dropped back to receive a kick or punt.
So, remember that Brown became the first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy? He had 1,847 all-purpose yards and seven TDs as a senior in 1987, and 1,937 all-purpose yards and nine touchdowns as a junior.
Ready for Gilyard's season stats? Try these:
2,442 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns. That's almost 600 yards and more than twice as many TDs as Brown when he won the Heisman. Gilyard even has 304 more receiving yards, and he has still has one game left.
Brown's stellar college career ended with 137 receptions, 22 touchdowns and a Notre Dame-record 5,024 all-purpose yards.
Gilyard has 197 receptions, 31 touchdowns and more than 5,600 all-purpose yards.
And for the capper: The Fighting Irish went 25-21 (and 0-2 in bowl games) during Brown's four seasons. The Bearcats are 37-13 in Gilyard's four seasons.
Brown, of course, went on to a 16-year NFL career and very well might end up a Hall of Famer.