Heisman Trophy Hopefuls
By Robert Bryant
The annual contest will soon be underway to see who will win college footballs’ coveted Heisman Trophy. Last season (2011), Baylor QB Robert Griffin III won the Heisman Trophy and this year another quarterback has a great shot of winning. Here is a look at my top Six college football players to win the 2012 Heisman Trophy.
QB Matt Barkley, USC
Unless he lays an egg this year Barkley will most likely be the top prospect to be selected first overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. He put up some impressive numbers last season, throwing for 2,791 yards and 39 TDs. The Trojans have a great team this year and should finish in the top five and maybe even win a National Championship. Barkley has one of the top receivers in the nation to throw the ball to in Robert Woods, who could be a first round draft pick next year.
RB Montee Ball, Wisconsin
A quick powerful running back that is very shifty and hard to tackle. Last year Ball ran for 1,923 yards and 33 TDs with an impressive 137 yards per game average. The Badgers, like USC have a great team, they should challenge Michigan and Ohio State for Big Ten honors this year and like most years, their offensive line is massive and talented. OT Ricky Wagner (6’ 6” 322 lbs) and Center Travis Fredrick (6’ 4” 328 lbs) will be playing on Sundays next year.
QB Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
Wilson is another player that will be hot property in the 2012 NFL Draft. The Razorbacks should finish at least as a top 15 team this year, as they play both LSU and Alabama at home. Wilson put up some impressive numbers last year throwing for 3,638 yards and 24 TDs. He also completed 63% of his passes. Wilson has some excellent skill players around him in RB Knile Davis and WR Cobi Hamilton. Not only that, he also has an excellent safety valve in TE Chris Cragg.
QB Denard Robinson, Michigan
A true dual threat quarterback that can burn you throwing or running. Last year Robinson broke the all time NCAA single season rushing record for a quarterback by rushing for over 1,176 yards. He also threw for 2,570 yards and 24 TDs. The Wolverines have plenty of talent to help Robinson, WR Roy Roundtree, OG Patrick Omameh and OT Taylor Lewan will be playing on Sundays next year.
QB E. J. Manuel, Florida State
Manuel is kind of a long shot for the Heisman Trophy because even though the Seminoles should be in the running for a National Championship this year, they will likely play conservative due to their awesome defense. Manuel is a big (6’ 5” 238 lbs), experienced quarterback, entering this season he has thrown 121 consecutive passes without an interception. Last season Manuel threw for 2,666 yards and completed 65.3% of his passes. Question is, will he have to share snaps with QB Clint Trickett?
QB Landry Jones, OKlahoma
The Sooners are ranked really high again entering the 2011 college football season. This is kind of a trend for the Sooners, start the season ranked in the top five and under perform and barely stay in the top 20 by the end of the season. Will this be the year the Sooners actually live up to their billing? In 2003 Jason White became the first Sooner to win the Heisman trophy and in 2008 Sam Bradford won it, so the voters seem to like the Sooners. Last season Jones was the leading front runner to win the Heisman Trophy, but a late season collapse in his last four games where he threw six interceptions and only one TD dashed his hopes. On the bright side, last season he did throw for an impressive 4,718 yards and completed an impressive 66% of his passes and while he did lose WR Ryan Broyles to the NFL, he has speedy Receivers Kenny Stills and Jaz Reynolds to throw the ball to.
Looking for more Heisman Trophy coverage? Have you heard about the Curse of the Heisman Trophy?