We are all aware of the Jameis Winstons and AJ McCarrons of the world, but a few lesser-known 2013 Heisman hopefuls will steal votes away from the award's top candidates.
These lesser-known players stand little chance of winning, but being considered among college football's finest athletes is honor enough. By being mentioned in the Heisman discussion, players are automatically held to higher standards on and off the field the following season.
That makes receiving votes a true honor.
It's strange to think that these players—some of the nation's top producers—weren't given more recognition until recent weeks. As a result of their late production, these guys stand to steal a few votes.
Tre Mason, RB, Auburn
Auburn running back Tre Mason didn't burst onto the scene until the Iron Bowl. Against a usually strong Alabama defense, Mason totaled 164 yards and a touchdown.
Fast forward to the SEC Championship Game against Missouri, and Mason simply could not be contained. He ran for 304 yards and four touchdowns to help secure his team's 59-42 victory.
In the 1st qtr today, Tre Mason passed Bo Jackson (1985) for the most all-purpose yards in a single season in Auburn history.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 7, 2013
Mason has 1,621 yards and 22 touchdowns on the season, and he is a huge reason the Tigers are in a position to play Florida State in the BCS title game. Without Mason's ability to keep the chains moving, quarterback Nick Marshall would have had a hard time in the passing game. Plus, it's hard to run the read-option without a capable running back.
Mason's strong finish to the season will earn him more than a few Heisman votes. He won't get a ton, because he didn't become a prominent contender until late, but he'll grab his fair share.
Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona
Arizona junior running back Ka'Deem Carey put together a fine season on the ground. He rushed for 1,716 yards and 17 touchdowns while adding 173 yards and a touchdown in the passing game.
After missing the team's first game against Northern Arizona, Carey rushed for at least 119 yards in every single game this season. He failed to register a touchdown in just two games, ran for over 200 yards twice and even scored four touchdowns in a game on two separate occasions.
Surprisingly, Carey's production this season is a decline from his sophomore year. Last season, he totaled 24 total touchdowns and over 2,200 all-purpose yards.
That won't affect his Heisman consideration this season, but he won't get an overwhelming amount of support. Despite his strong numbers, they went largely unnoticed for most of the season.
Andre Williams, RB, Boston College
Even though he didn't make an impact in the passing game, Andre Williams was arguably one of the most dynamic running backs in the nation this season.
Which player will earn the most recognition?
He rattled off 2,102 yards on 329 carries for an astounding 6.4 yards per rush. That led to 17 touchdowns and Williams being the focal point of the Boston College offense.
What's amazing is that Williams totaled those numbers while posting under 100 yards in three separate games. To make up for it, he rushed for over 200 yards five times—including a 339-yard performance against North Carolina State.
The lack of stellar competition will hurt his candidacy in the end, but that doesn't mean a few voters won't recognize his efforts this season. He's deserving of at least a little recognition.