With College Football season around the corner, here is my list of the top five contenders to win the Heisman Trophy this year.
1. QB Marcus Mariota- Oregon Ducks
As a freshman, Mariota threw for 32 TDs and also ran in 5 more. Chip Kelly may be gone, but with offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich taking over, the offense will not skip a beat. I fully expect Mariota to put up even better numbers now that he has gotten a year under a belt in the Spread Offense. The only thing that will hinder his campaign is if he doesn’t play entire games to pad his stats.
2. QB Teddy Bridgewater- Louisville Cardinals
Bridgewater will come into this season with high expectations, as Louisville will likely start the season in the top 10 and on a clear path to the National Championship. He said he doesn’t want to have a campaign this year, but his name is at the top of many Heisman lists. Last year, he quietly put up over 3,700 passing yards and 27 TDs. With another easy schedule, expect Teddy Bridgewater to contend for the Heisman. One thing that can hurt him though, is the fact that Louisville’s schedule is so soft. If he loses a game, he may fall out of contention.
3. QB Johnny Manziel- Texas A&M Aggies
Last year, Manziel became the first freshman to win a Heisman Trophy, as he put up a ridiculous 5,000 yards of total offense and 47 total TDs. Johnny Football and Texas A&M took the SEC by storm, featuring a signature win in Tuscaloosa against National Champs Alabama and a top 5 finish. This year, the Aggies and Manziel aren’t sneaking up on anyone, so we will see if his sophomore efforts compare or if he will succumb to a sophomore slump.
4. RB De’Anthony Thomas- Oregon Ducks
Thomas took a step back last year, but will be the feature of the Oregon offense heading into his Junior year. Thomas can do it all from running to catching to special teams, and is a threat to score from anywhere on the field. The question is, will he be on the field for a full 4 quarters of football? If he is, and can handle the increased workload then expect the Black Mamba to put up ridiculous numbers this year.
5. DE Jadeveon Clowney- South Carolina
A primarily defensive player hasn’t won the Heisman since 1997 when Charles Woodson did it, and he was the only one. If anyone is to repeat this though, its Clowney. He is a flat out freak of an athlete and will be the number 1 pick in the 2014 draft. He is a complete nightmare for offensive lineman. Last year he finished the season with 13 sacks and expect that number to go up this year as he develops his pass rushing skills. And of course everyone remembers the hit…
Others to watch for: QB Braxton Miller- Ohio State, RB Todd Gurley- Georgia, QB Tajh Boyd- Clemson, QB Aj McCarron- Alabama