The Heisman Trophy won’t be handed out for another seven months but that won’t stop the speculation about who will be clutching the bronze statue in December. It’s our #4 storyline of the spring.
Even with past Heisman winners Cam Newton and Mark Ingram off to the NFL, this Heisman field is absolutely loaded.
The front runner has to be Stanford’s Andrew Luck, the runner-up for the 2010 trophy who spurned millions of dollars and the No. 1 overall pick of this year’s NFL draft to return to Palo Alto. But he isn’t the only finalist coming back to school. Oregon running back LaMichael James (third place) will be back in the Ducks’ point-a-minute offense, Boise State QB Kellen Moore (fourth place) returns to wreak havoc on unworthy opponents and Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon (fifth place) is ready to pick up where he left off after a ridiculous statistical season in which he scored 20 TDs and caught 111 balls.
And let’s not forget about Michigan QB Denard Robinson, who finished in sixth place after looking like the Heisman favorite through the first month of the season and even serendipitously striking the Heisman pose vs. Notre Dame.
There’s also plenty of other worthy candidates you can expect to be in the mix come December.
Two of them are Oklahoma’s combination of QB Landry Jones and WR Ryan Broyles, who will be abusing Big 12 secondaries all season long after finishing last season by connecting 13 times for 170 yards and one score in the Fiesta Bowl.
Then there’s Alabama RB Trent Richardson, a bruising runner who now gets the Crimson Tide backfield to himself with Ingram off to the pros.
There’s a host of other potential qualified candidates such as South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore, Oregon QB Darron Thomas, Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden, Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez, USC QB Matt Barkley and Arkansas RB Knile Davis.
Or it could be someone like Newton that didn’t even start the year before winning the Heisman like Florida State QB E.J. Manuel or Iowa RB Marcus Coker.
And that’s the beauty of the Heisman: As Cam Newton showed, you never know who’s going to step up and strike the pose by the end of the year.