Mallett for Heisman, Huskers' backfield 

March, 26, 2010
Here is this week's mailbag. Also, just a reminder, if you want to send questions, feel free to do so via @BFeldmanESPN on Twitter.

From Chris in Dallas: Is Ryan Mallet a Heisman favorite or Heisman darkhorse?

If he comes back 100 percent, he's a lot closer to a favorite than a dark horse. He's got the skills, the system and good skill talent to put up huge numbers. He could emerge as the Heisman front-runner by late September since the Hogs go to Athens and then host Alabama. If they win both of those, he's going to be in great shape.

I'm not calling an upset of Bama, though. Arkansas is a very dangerous team, but I don't think the Hogs have enough D to overtake the Tide in the West.

From Patty in NYC: In your chat, you said that you think Robert Griffin is the greatest athlete to ever play quarterback at any level. Was that just a quick, off the top of my head answer in a chat?

Actually, what I said was that I'd have to think about it because lots of great football players play QB at high school, but in terms of speed Baylor's Robert Griffin is the fastest QB to ever play college ball. The original question was in regards to whether Washington's Jake Locker was the best overall athlete.

You're right about the chat settings. It's a lot of off-the-cuff answers as you strive to keep it lively. The first guys that popped into my head were Jim Thorpe, arguably the greatest athlete in history, Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders, but I wasn't sure if those guys played QB at any point. Thorpe, as best as I could tell, was said to have been a running back. Then again, with the way football was in those days, it wasn't as position specific.

There's also a few ways to view best athlete. Was it in a biggest, fastest, strongest sense -- which is how the question was framed -- or in terms of a guy who was great at a lot of different things? In that regards, Charlie Ward, who was a pretty slight guy but won a Heisman and had a long NBA career, is someone who deserves mention. So does John Elway. I'd put Michael Vick in there because he has an amazing arm and agility. If I had to pick one, I'll go with Jackie Robinson, who was a high school QB.

Robinson, obviously, is a legendary figure in sports, and had a long career in baseball with the Dodgers. However, before that he was the first athlete in UCLA history to win letters in four different sports: baseball, football, basketball and track. On top of that, he had also been a standout tennis player and won swimming titles too.