Dayne's work isn't
poetry. He hammers through defenders six yards at a time, with occasional
bursts through fearful, exhausted tacklers. "If you get to him after two or
three yards, you can knock him down yourself," says Minnesota linebacker
Sean Hoffman. "Five yards past the line you need to get help." Yet
underneath Dayne's hulking body are quick feet, beating defenses that know he's
coming at them.
Wisconsin has one game left and is gunning for its second consecutive Big Ten
title. Dayne, who surprised many observers by staying in school for his senior
season, has impressed NFL scouts. "He's really stepped it up," says
Washington Redskins director of player personnel Vinny Cerrato.
On the minus side
of the ledger, Dayne is a lousy self-promoter. He's not little and cute, like
Hamilton, or ebullient and flashy, like Brees. Also, he rushed for negative
yardage in the second half of a 21-16 loss to Michigan.
If the season
ended today, Dayne would be our choice. Hamilton, however, has three games left
to change our minds. The season's uncertainty demands waiting until the last
down is played.
"I like Dayne
by a little bit," said Ohio State linebacker Na'il Diggs before the Purdue
game, "but I'm not counting my chickens yet."