Fingers not doing the Heisman talking for Brandon Doughty


It’s not that Brandon Doughty is antisocial. Far from it.

There’s a Heisman Trophy campaign for the Western Kentucky quarterback on Twitter — #he12man. You can even follow the countdown to his wedding day on March 6, 2016.

But you will not be able to follow the top returning quarterback in FBS on Twitter.

Wanting to avoid any distractions heading into a season of high expectations, Conference USA’s MVP last year has unplugged from social media.

“I saw that we were picked to win the conference. I was like, ‘You know what, I don’t need to read any of this stuff,”’ said Doughty, who led the Hilltoppers to an 8-5 record last season and their first FBS bowl victory in program history. “I don’t need to be distracted. I want to stick to my little bubble. It worked last year.”

Not to burst his bubble, but Doughty already lost his opportunity to play in a vacuum this season, which opened Thursday night with a 14-12 victory at Vanderbilt.

After leading FBS with 4,830 passing yards and 49 touchdowns last season, Doughty is one of 15 quarterbacks named to four awards watch lists — the Walter Camp Award, presented to the nation’s most outstanding player; the Maxwell Award, presented the nation’s player of the year; and the Davey O’Brien and Manning awards, presented to the nation’s top quarterback. He also made’s list of the 15 best FBS players outside the Power Five conferences (Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern).

“What sets him apart,” said WKU linebacker Nick Holt, who also played quarterback in high school, “he’s a smart kid and he can direct the whole offense, down to the blocking, down to making checks in the run game, down to finding the matchups he likes to get it to our wide receivers. He is just unbelievable.”

“I think he’s probably the face of the league this year,” added UTEP head coach Sean Kugler.

As such, Doughty carries the conference’s Heisman hopes. It’s a long shot, but his numbers are similar to the last player outside the Power Five to win the award. In 1990, BYU’s Ty Detmer beat out Notre Dame’s Raghib Ismail after passing for 5,188 yards and 41 touchdowns and leading the Cougars to a 10-3 record, including a 28-21 victory over top-ranked Miami.

That was also before the mainstream Internet and strike-the-pose selfies on Instagram. That’s not for Doughty, hence the social media shutdown. More time to focus on football — and his fiancé Sydney Sisler.

“Exactly,” Doughty said. “She likes (social media) more than I do. She’s like, ‘Man, Brandon, you don’t like any pictures I can be mad about.’ We can’t even argue.”

There’s no argument from Conference USA coaches that Brandon Doughty deserves to be in the Heisman Trophy conversation.

Heisman voters can select their top three choices. Would Brandon Doughty get one of your votes?

  • Yes (95%, 36 Votes)
  • No (3%, 1 Votes)
  • I would consider it (3%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 38

Loading ... Loading ...

On the cover: After posting video-game numbers last season, Brandon Doughty should at least join the conversation of Heisman Trophy contenders. (Photo courtesy of WKU Athletics)
Above: Video produced by Alex Autem/ASN

Mike Bambach

Mike Bambach is senior web producer for