As the summer days are winding down, and the fall crisp air moves in, football takes center stage at college campuses from small town USA in South Bend, Indiana to the big cities of LA that house USC and UCLA. Our first weekly installment of college football news brings you the frontrunners for the Heisman Trophy. This week’s top 10 + 1 may have a couple surprises, but most of the players are household names and have boasted powerful numbers in previous years. We welcome discussion in the comments section whether you agree or disagree.
1. Matt Barkley (USC) – The high octane offense of USC is conducted by future first round draft pick Matt Barkley. Barkley has weapons all over the field including Robert Woods and Marquise Lee. Last year Barkley threw for 3528 yards and 39 TD’s.
2. Montee Ball (WI) – Even with the rough off season in Madison, Montee Ball is expected to duplicate the incredible numbers he put up last year. He is a skillful workhorse capable of taking over the ground game with the Badgers dynamic offensive line. Last Year Ball Ran for 39 TD’s and caught 7 more 6 pointers.
3. De’Anthony Thomas (OR) – This explosive sophomore triple threat running back/receiver/returner is a nightmare for defenses to get a handle on. With Kenjon Barner in the fold, Thomas is a true sleeper, but I expect his production to double with the loss of LaMichael James to the NFL. Last year Thomas had 16 total touchdowns with 9 receiving.
4. Tyler Wilson (ARK) – Wilson will lead Arkansas’ aerial attack against the tough SEC defenses. A tumultuous offseason with the firing of Bobby Petrino is the one drawback to the optimistic season outlook. Wilson also has knile Davis back in the fold after last season’s knee injury kept him out for the season.
5. Landry Jones (OU)- Landry has all the tools to move up and down the field for the Sooners. Depending on the scheme, Jones will rise or fall in the Heisman race. They utilized QB Blake Bell AKA (Belldozer) in the red zone very effectively last year. Blake Bell’s contribution to the team cuts down on the stats needed to garner enough Heisman consideration. Last year Jones threw for 4463 yards and 29 TD’s
6. Marcus Lattimore (SC) – He just may be the best pure running back in the country. The Gamecocks are happy to have Lattimore back to carry offensive load. Last year he had a season ending Knee injury against (MSU).
7. Colin Klein (KSU) – Colin Klein dominated games for Kansas St and seemed to make every big play. If the production is similar to last year, then Klein may have a seat in the Downtown Athletic club for the Heisman ceremony. Last year Colin rushed for 27 TD’s and threw for 13 more.
8. Denard Robinson (UM) – Last year Denard had 36 total touchdowns. He has a chance to vault to the front with a game against defending National Champs, Alabama. Robinson can take an early lead in the Heisman race or get knocked out depending on his success.
9. Braxton Miller (OSU) – Sophomore Braxton Miller has the opportunity to run the Urban Meyer spread offense. That’s reason enough to have Miller in the top 10 to start the season. Last year Braxton had 20 total touchdowns sharing duty for the first half of the season.
10. Aaron Murray (UGA)- Georgia has big plans for the season and Aaron Murray has the opportunity to put up large numbers for a National Championship contender. Last year Murray threw for 3149 yards and 35 touchdowns.
11. EJ Manuel (FSU) – Manuel is looking for the breakout season he thought was due last year. Unfortunately injuries slowed his progress along with FSU. EJ didn’t throw one interception after October.