College Football 2012: 5 Players Who Will Put Up Heisman-Worthy Years

Adam Randall@@theadamrandallContributor IIJune 5, 2012

College Football 2012: 5 Players Who Will Put Up Heisman-Worthy Years

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    With the 2012 college football season upon us, several big teams are going to be carrying young talent to make up for the exciting seniors they lost in the off-season.

    Most of these young players will likely excel, which usually leads to some premature Heisman analysis.

    So let's fast-forward to the middle of the season and take a closer look at who has the potential to be part of the Heisman talk this year and beyond.

De'Anthony Thomas, RB Oregon

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    In 2011, "Black Mamba" rushed for 595 yards and seven touchdowns on 55 attempts.

    Even though his overall yardage gain was low, the seven touchdowns certainly made up for the loss as we saw firsthand what De'Anthony Thomas can do as a scorer.

    At only 5'9" and 160 pounds, Thomas has the ability to torch opposing defenses with his speed, and has excellent hands which makes him capable to be a receiving threat as well.

    It will be exciting to see Thomas grow into this role in upcoming years, as long as his body sustains the beating.

    Thomas has very few weaknesses. However, it wouldn't hurt him to gain some weight to reduce possible injury concerns that may arise in the future.

    Thomas definitely has a sincere shot at a Heisman at some point, and it will be exciting to see him compete for it on the field.

Eddie Lacy/TJ Yeldon, RB Alabama

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    Currently, Eddie Lacy is penciled in to take over at the starting running back position for the departing Trent Richardson, but it wouldn't be a complete shock if TJ Yeldon receives the majority of the carries at some point.

    Yeldon had a stellar outing in Alabama's spring game in mid-April, letting go for 88 yards on the ground and 91 yards through the air.

    At 6'1" and 215 pounds, the freshman has the potential to be something special for the Tide in years to come.

    Considering how many times that 'Bama pounds the rock in most games, it wouldn't be a surprise if both Lacy and Yeldon are considered for the Heisman.

Tyler Wilson, QB Arkansas

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    While this list is mostly about younger Heisman hopefuls, Tyler Wilson comes into his senior year on a short list of quarterbacks looking to make a bold statement.

    Knile Davis rejoins the team after a yearlong absence which will surely give Wilson a boost.

    In 2012, Wilson will look to make a name for himself to climb to the top of the NFL scouts list. Most likely there will be some debate about his skills at quarterback and if he is good enough to be taken in the top ten, similarly like Ryan Tannehill.

Knile Davis, RB Arkansas

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    As a sophomore in 2010, Knile Davis compiled 1,322 yards and 13 touchdowns.

    However, in the following season, Davis was unable to continue playing after he suffered an ankle injury during the preseason.

    It's clear that Davis is dying to get this season over with and enter the NFL Draft as he nearly left in the off-season after the unexpected departure of former head coach Bobby Petrino.

    If Davis is smart, he will return to Arkansas for his senior season and prove that his sophomore season wasn't a fluke.

Braxton Miller, QB Ohio State

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    While Braxton Miller's stats for last season weren't exactly phenomenal, neither was the situation that former coach Jim Tressel and involved players left behind as they quickly scattered away from Ohio State—and the scandal that rocked college football.

    Enter Urban Meyer.

    Meyer has the chance to be a hero as he works to turn things around and possibly take Ohio State back to the top of the Big Ten. The only downer of this is that we won't get to see Wisconsin and Michigan State battle it out as they have for the past two seasons.

    Whether you like him or not, Tim Tebow excelled under Meyer wining a Heisman and two national championships.

    So, why can't Miller achieve the same status?

    Well, eventually he can.

    Ohio State isn't in the SEC, and with the exception of Alabama, Florida didn't have a lot of trouble beating teams from within.

    Expect a bigger learning curve, and if history repeats itself, Urban Meyer will in fact coach Braxton Miller to a Heisman win and possibly a national championship game.