Even the most die-hard college football fans may have never heard of Dri Archer. However, the Kent State senior had a remarkable junior season, gaining just under 2000 all-purpose yards and scoring 20 TD’s. He was the Kent State offense. Understandably, both Kent State fans and media are expecting big things from the sprinter-turned-tailback. Perhaps no one expects more than Archer himself, who has declared himself as a Heisman candidate. Archer is probably not the only college football player who thinks this, but he certainly part of a unique advertising campaign to promote his candidacy.
Kent State has partnered with famous comic strip artist Chuck Ayers (a KSU alum) to create The Archer, a comic starring the All-American as a touchdown-scoring superhero. You can see the strips here on their Twitters page.
The campaign is effective in many ways. It is unique, making it memorable. It gives the Kent State fans something to rally around. But most importantly, it puts his name into a mainstream media. If Archer really wants to win the award, that is the most crucial part. But the question remains…can a player from a mid-major really win the Heisman?
Benjamin Miraski outlines what he thinks needs to be done in his blog post here. It would take an incredible season for Archer to even be considered for the award. The last player to win from a mid-major was Andre Ware for Houston in 1989. Players from mid-majors just don’t get considered because of strength of schedule and quality of players.
But the MAC is definitely on the rise. Jordan Lynch, the Northern Illinois QB, finished in the top ten in voting last year for the award. And Eric Fisher, the left tackle for Central Michigan, was the #1 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Maybe Dri Archer is on to something with this comic-book campaign. But the only way he will really show his superhuman speed and agility is on the field. If he improves upon last years stats, the Archer might have a happy ending.