Heisman Watch 2012: How Does Collin Klein Compare to RGIII and Cam Newton?

Jeff WaiteContributor IIINovember 9, 2012

MANHATTAN, KS - NOVEMBER 3: Quarterback Collin Klein #7 of the Kansas State Wildcats looks to pass during a game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium on November 3, 2012 in Manhattan, Kansas. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The 2012 Heisman watch began with a number of players who have since faded (Matt Barkley, Landry Jones, Geno Smith, among others). 

However, Kansas State’s Collin Klein has started to separate himself thanks to his dual-threat capabilities and undefeated record.

Although Klein has not won the Heisman yet, he is presumably a favorite. Kansas State is currently 9-0 and on top of the Big 12 standings. Klein has been dominant on the ground and through the air.

Since Klein has emerged as the front-runner by throwing and rushing, it is only fitting that we compare him to the previous dual-threat Heisman winners: Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton.

Are Collin Klein’s 2012 numbers up to par with his Heisman predecessors?

In 2010, Cam Newton won the Heisman during his BCS championship run at Auburn. Newton led the Tigers to a 14-0 record and SEC bragging rights. He threw for 2,854 yards with a 66 percent completion rate to go along with 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Newton was equally as effective on the run (1,473 rushing yards, 5.6 yards per carry, 20 rushing touchdowns). The state of the Auburn Tigers following his departure indicated that Mr. Newton was irreplaceable.

In 2011, Robert Griffin III put the Baylor Bears on the map with some unearthly statistics and unbelievable moves. Baylor went 10-3 and was truly competitive in the Big 12 for the first time in recent history.

RGIII threw for 4,293 yards at a 72.4 percent completion rate in 2011, amassing 37 touchdown passes against only six interceptions. He also managed to scamper for 699 yards (almost four yards per carry) and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Griffin is maintaining his impressive mix of running and passing at the NFL level today.

Collin Klein is now hoping to capture that same Heisman glory in 2012. So far, Klein has thrown for 1,875 yards, 12 touchdowns and two interceptions through nine games. He has also run for 698 yards (five yards per carry) and 17 touchdowns. 

So far, Klein has proven himself to be—at least statistically—worthy of the Heisman.

His run/pass capabilities have made him one of the most phenomenal stars of the 2012 college football season, and they have also spurred his team to victory.

If Klein can continue his high level of play, he should be able to win the Heisman and enjoy great team success like his predecessors Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III.

The 2012 Heisman race is Collin Klein’s to lose.