Tracking the Heisman hopefuls this season has been a challenge. It seems as quickly as a player surfaces, they disappear. There have been a few consistent candidates, but in large part, no one has been able to separate from the pack. If you look at pure numbers, it becomes much easier.
FanSided Radio Heisman Watch List
1) Kenjon Barner Running Back Oregon
Last week I said that I could not put him on the list because he did not usually play near an entire game. Some probably wonder how a player can go from off the list to the top. It’s simple math. Barner exploded for 321 yards and five touchdowns last weekend in Oregon’s big win over USC. He is the most explosive running back in college football, and can no longer be overlooked. Kenjon Barner will be making a trip to New York in December.
2) Manti Te’o Linebacker Notre Dame
The Irish struggled against a weak Pitt team, being pushed to three overtimes before pulling out a win. Te’o had his weakest performance of the season with just seven tackles and one sack. He is still the force behind Notre Dame’s success in 2012. His leadership on the defensive side of the ball carries over to everyone else on the team. He is the kind of player that teammates will play harder because of. Look for Manti Te’o to have a big game this weekend against Boston College.
3) Marqise Lee Wide Receiver USC
Lee just can’t seem to be stopped this season. The Sophomore wide-out has already eclipsed his 2011 totals with 88 receptions for 1286 yards and 12 touchdowns. In my opinion, Matt Barkely is an afterthought on the USC offense. Lee is the second most dynamic player in the PAC 12, behind Oregon’s Kenjon Barner. He is fast, runs great routs, and has great hands. He is the prototypical wide receiver. Trojan fans should enjoy his talents for one more year, then look for him to bolt to the NFL with a big contract in hand.
4) Braxton Miller Quarterback Ohio State
His team might not be eligible for post season play, but Braxton Miller is one of college footballs elite. He has over 1700 yards passing, and has added 1166 yards on the ground. By far, he is the best mobile quarterback in the nation. His 27 touchdowns have led the Buckeyes to their 10-0 season. Miller should be getting more praise from the national media, but Ohio States NCAA sanctions might be keeping him out of the spotlight.
For those wondering why Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein is not on the list, check back in with FanSided Radio later this afternoon for a featured piece on the Wildcat signal caller.