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5 Preseason Heisman Trophy Candidates Who Have Already Killed Their Chances

Sean FryeFeatured Columnist IIIOctober 11, 2016

5 Preseason Heisman Trophy Candidates Who Have Already Killed Their Chances

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    We're only three weeks into the 2013 college football season, but some of the most highly touted Heisman Trophy candidates have already fallen by the wayside. 

    One of the most notable flameouts is in Columbus, Ohio, where Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, who's injury and lackluster showing in Week 1 have him virtually out of the race. 

    Other guys like Jadeveon Clowney and Johnny Manziel have also lost a lot of the momentum that they had built up in the preseason for their Heisman campaigns. 

    Check out the five players who were expected to compete for the nation's highest individual honor, but have been basically eliminated from consideration. 

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

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    Texas A&M's loss to Alabama last week was the final nail in the coffin for Johnny Manziel's Heisman chances. 

    Last year's recipient of the Heisman Trophy began to slide in Week 1 when he was suspended for the first half against Rice and then was replaced after being penalized for taunting. 

    Manziel's stats have actually been pretty impressive this season. He has racked up 984 yards passing and 11 touchdowns. 

    But every Heisman Trophy winner has a Heisman moment and thus far, Manziel has seemingly had moments that have put him further out of reach from the trophy. 

    Plus, not many Heisman winners lose the most-anticipated game of the season. 

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

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    Jadeveon Clowney was pegged in the preseason to possibly be just the second defensive player to ever win the Heisman Trophy. 

    But after putting up just 11 tackles and two sacks in South Carolina's first three games, the Gamecocks' star has almost no chance of taking home the hardware at season's end. 

    It was made apparent in Week 1 that opposing offense could contain Clowney when he had just three tackles against North Carolina in a game where he was very unimpressive. 

    Clowney didn't get much better in Weeks 2 or 3 either against Georgia and Vanderbilt, respectively. 

    Charles Woodson is the only defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy. Clowney had to hit the ground running this season to even have a chance, but his slow start has killed his shot at the award. 

Marqise Lee, WR, USC

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    Through three games, USC star receiver Marqise Lee has just 17 catches for 221 yards and one score. 

    Those stats won't be enough to keep him in the hunt for the Heisman Trophy. 

    In the Trojans' two wins this season, Lee shined. Against Hawaii, he grabbed eight passes for 104 yards and then hauled in 90 yards receiving in Week 3 against Boston College. 

    His showing against Boston College included an 80-yard touchdown catch. 

    But against Washington State, the Trojans' toughest opponent and only loss this year, Lee was kept in check with 27 yards on seven receptions. 

    Simply put, Heisman winners show up in big games and Lee was a dud in the Trojans' first big game of the season. 

Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska

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    Heisman Trophy winners are generally good enough to hold on to a 21-3 lead. 

    Against UCLA last week, Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Taylor Martinez ruined his Heisman Trophy chances by not scoring after building an 18=point lead, allowing the Bruins to score 38 unanswered points in their comeback win.

    Martinez's numbers haven't stood out either. While he does have nine touchdown passes, he's only cracked 200 yards passing once, and that came against UCLA, when he threw for 203 yards. 

    Not only did Nebraska give up that 21-3 lead to lose, 41-21, but Martinez and company also struggled to beat Wyoming in Week 1. The Cornhuskers squeaked by in that game, winning, 37-34. 

    The only thing Martinez has proved this season is that he isn't consistent enough to be considered among the truly elite players in the country. 

Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State

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    It's not totally Braxton Miller's fault that he finds himself outside looking in on the Heisman Trophy race. 

    One of the biggest reasons he's not in serious contention anymore is the fact that he missed last week with a sprained left knee, per ESPN.com

    However, Miller didn't exactly dazzle fans in Week 1 against Buffalo either. In that game, which Ohio State won, 40-20, the Buckeyes' star threw for just 178 yards and two touchdowns along with an interception. 

    Still, the Buckeyes are 3-0 and, according to Eric Seger of The Lantern, Miller is probable for Week 4. 

    Miller's best chance to get back into the race though won't come until Big Ten play starts. He'll have to play at an extremely high level to get back into the race. 

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