IT’S FOOTBALL SEASON BABY!!….well not quite, but you get the picture. In my life football season pretty much starts with the onset of Spring Football. You have the teams being wowed by the incoming freshman, championship talk, coaches on the hot seat, and Heisman hopefuls. The coveted Heisman trophy….who’s going to win it this year? Luckily it’s no as easy as picking the NBA MVP but here are my top picks….
1.Geno Smith – West Virginia University
West Virginia QB Geno Smith is my Heisman front-runner hands down. The thing about the Heisman trophy is that it goes to the most outstanding player that year. Geno epitomizes the word. Last season Geno threw for 4,385 Yards 31 TD’s and only 7 interceptions. Another reason he’s my Heisman frontrunner because he’s in the best situation. He’s in a pass happy offense where Heisman numbers are easy to come by and this is his second year in the system so he’s more familiar with it. He has an excellent primary target in Tyvon Austin and the move to the Big 12 plays a major role in this. Name recognition is big in Heisman voting. There’s a reason Case Keenum didn’t get major consideration last year ( 71% Completion Pct, 5,099 yrds passing, 48 TDs, and 5 ints). It’s because he played in a weak conference. West Virginia moves to the Big 12 this year and big games vs. Texas and Oklahoma are just what Geno needs to be holding that Heisman. If he improves on last season as expected I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t.
2. Matt Barkley – University of Southern California
All-American Superhero/USC Jesus/Flash Gordon look-a-like Matt Barkley is a close second. With a receiver like Robert Woods who wouldn’t be a Heisman hopeful QB. Add Marqis Lee to that and it’s kind of a no-brainer. The only reason I don’t have Barkley number one is because he isn’t a spread QB. If he was he’d be the front-runner hands down. If he doesn’t win the Heisman at least he’ll have a chance to win the National Championship.
3.Tyler Wilson – University of Arkansas
A year removed from Ryan Mallet and Hog nation has already forgotten about him thanks to Tyler Wilson. Wilson came out the gate swinging last season. Leading the Razorbacks to a 10-2 record and a win against Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl. Technically Georgia had the most yards on offense in the SEC but Arkansas averaged more yards per game making them the SEC’s top offensive squad. While losing Jarius Wright to the NFL i’m sure Arkansas won’t miss a beat on offense.
4.De’Anthony Thomas – University of Oregon
I have no idea what Thomas is listed as officially, whether it be RB or WR or Return Specialist. What I do know is that anytime this guy touches the ball he does work. He scored 18 TD’s last season. 2 Kickoff returns, 7 rushing, and 9 receiving. With LeMichael James gone that’s one less mouth to feed so his touches are going to increase. Last Season on offense he touched the ball 101 times, for 1,200 yards and 16 TDs. This guy is a big play machine. Although he may not be the number one RB or WR on this team. He’s going to get his. Watch out for the Black Mamba this fall.
5.Sammy Watkins – Clemson University
Sammy Watkins had an amazing freshman season. He led the nation in almost every statistical category he could for freshmen. We can only expect better from him this season. Him and his QB Tajh Boyd have had a year together. So it’s only right that we expect more explosive plays. Watkins numbers could take a hit this season because I’m sure he’ll face at least a few games suspension after a marijuana related arrest earlier this offseason. That could put a damper on his Heisman hopes.
6.Aaron Murray – University of Georgia
Murray has every reason to be on this list but I don’t really give him serious consideration. With Malcom Mitchell and Isiah Crowell I see Murray putting up big numbers but I don’t see the Dogs as a whole doing so well and that plays a factor in Heisman voting. Every year I remember UGA having really big expectations they always came up short. They key to Murray’s Heisman hopes is whether or not Mark Richt can hold this team together for a full season.
7. Landry Jones – Oklahoma University
Jones is a 4 year starter at Oklahoma. In his previous 3 years at QB he has always put up big numbers but nothing phenomenal. But he’s a big name in college football and Oklahoma is a big name in college football so those alone will keep him in the running. With him splitting time with Blake Bell I don’t expect him to win or even have a shot this year but I had to put his name in the running. He has a talented receiving corps and Oklahoma could surprise some people but I just don’t see it happening.
8.Montee Ball – University of Wisconsin
Ball was a TD machine last season. He scored 39 TDs. 39!!! That is crazy. With Russel Wilson gone Ball’s role in the offense is going to increase. Although he may not make 39 trips to the endzone he will still put up major numbers. If James White and Montee Ball can form a dominant ground game and Wisconsins defense can remain stout then that will do wonders for Ball’s Heisman stock.
9.Dennard Robinson – University of Michigan
Dennard Robinson might be the most exciting QB in college football but Shoelace won’t win the Heisman. He will wow us with his speed and he’ll score more than a few TD’s but his inconsistency and poor decision making will keep him out of the front running. He had his biggest game passing wise vs Notre Dame which was attributed to a lot of balls he just threw up there and his receivers went to go get them. Towards the end of the season he settled down and became a more efficient passer. We know he’s fast and a beast when he leaves the pocket but how well he does in the pocket is whats going to determine whether he wins the Heisman or not.
10. Tyler Bray Jr. – University of Tennessee
This is my personal sleeper pick. I am a die hard Vols fan myself but there is no denying Bray’s talent at QB. Last season he lost his top target Justin Hunter for the season to injury vs. Florida. Then he himself fell to injury missing five games last season.Bray has a cannon and is as cool as a penguins beak in the pocket. With him and Hunter both healthy this year I don’t see anything but big numbers and a lot of wins in his future. Bray might not win the Heisman this year but he will be in the consideration and if he returns for his senior season he’ll definitely be the favorite.