5 reasons Connor Cook will win the Heisman Trophy

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Jan 1, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan State Spartans coach Mark Dantonio (left) and quarterback Connor Cook (18) hoist the Leishman Trophy after the 100th Rose Bowl against the Stanford Cardinal. Michigan State defeated Stanford 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

3. Cook thrives in big games

OK, so I think I’m going to start out by giving Connor Cook a nickname. James Shields, a MLB starting pitcher, earned the distinction of “Big Game James” while he was with the Kansas City Royals for the past couple of years. So, to keep it on the same track in terms of nicknames, I’m going with “Crucial Contest Cook.”

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That nickname may not roll off the tongue like Shields’, but it’s a start.

Since his first ever appearance, outside of a garbage-time look against Central Michigan in 2012, Cook has been dubbed a big-game competitor. He subbed in the game for a struggling Andrew Maxwell at the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl and took down Trevone Boykin and TCU with a late TD pass.

As quarterback of Michigan State, Cook has led the Spartans past the Horned Frogs, Michigan twice, Nebraska twice, Ohio State, Stanford, Penn State and Baylor. Three of those contests were for bowl victories, one for a Big Ten title and a handful were road games.

In those eight games, he has passed for 2,036 yards, 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions while needing to improve a little on his 54 percent completion rate.

Any quarterback who thrives in big games like this is definitely Heisman-worthy.

Next: 2. Wealth of targets