It's never too early to begin looking at the college football players who will have the biggest impact on the 2014 season. Though we're still many months away from meaningful games, we're taking an early look at who belongs on a list of dark-horse Heisman Trophy candidates.
Sometime around late July, you'll see preseason articles popping up everywhere, and the most prestigious award in sports is always a hot topic of discussion. The favorites—even from where we stand today—are obvious. There's the reigning Heisman winner Jameis Winston at Florida State, Oregon's Marcus Mariota and Ohio State's Braxton Miller.
Lumped in with those three will be a handful of viable candidates like UCLA's Brett Hundley, Georgia's Todd Gurley or any one of Alabama's lab-created running backs. You might even throw in a guy like Trevor Knight at Oklahoma, if only because of what he was able to do against the Crimson Tide defense in the Sooners' Sugar Bowl victory.
Finally, in the closing portion of these lists, you'll get the dark-horse crew. These are players who have a lot of potential to do great things but will need to make strong statements to climb onto the leaderboard.
There are dark-horse candidates all around the country, but we've settled on these five as players to look out for when college football resumes. Feel free to share in the comments who you think could come out of nowhere to snare the stiff-arm statue.