Qualk Talk: Top Five Heisman Trophy Sleepers

William QualkinbushSenior Analyst IAugust 20, 2008

Yesterday I gave you a list of the top Heisman Trophy contenders for the upcoming season. But there are more than five guys with a legitimate shot at college football's top individual award. Trust me, if these guys have the types of years they are capable of having, they won't sneak up on anybody.


5. Graham Harrell, QBTexas Tech

Playing in Mike Leach's offense has paid dividends for Harrell, whose numbers are just filthy.

He threw for over 5,000 yards as a junior last season, becoming only the sixth player in history to do so. He has over 10,000 career passing yards, has completed just under 70 percent of his passes, and has thrown for 86 touchdowns in the past two seasons.

There will always be questions about whether or not Harrell is a system quarterback, but I believe this guy is for real.


4. Cullen Harper, QBClemson

On a team with two All-Americans at tailback and an All-American at receiver, Clemson's best shot at a Heisman may be its unheralded quarterback.

After winning the job as a long-shot prior to last season, Harper was the ACC's most efficient passer, throwing 27 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He was just shy of 3,000 yards for the season and had numbers that were as good as—if not better than—Matt Ryan of Boston College.

If Harper can duplicate his numbers from a season ago, there should plenty of accolades headed his way.


3. Max Hall, QBBYU

If you haven't heard of this guy yet, get ready. Max Hall is getting ready to hit the college football universe in a big way.

Hall threw 26 touchdown tosses and surpassed 4,000 yards passing a season ago. He completed 60 percent of his passes and was the unquestioned leader of the Cougars.

Hall is widely considered to be the best non-BCS player on the best non-BCS team. He may be a long shot to win, but if BYU crashes the BCS party this season, his name deserves to be mentioned among the nation's elite.


2. Sam Bradford, QBOklahoma

In a conference loaded with big-time talent at quarterback, Sam Bradford's name often gets pushed aside. This season, people won't be able to overlook him any longer.

Bradford was the nation's most efficient passer last season and set an NCAA freshman record with 36 touchdown passes. He may have been higher on this list but for the loss of his favorite target from a season ago, new Washington Redskins receiver Malcolm Kelly.

Bradford's incomparable consistency throwing the football gives him a shot at the Heisman Trophy.


1. Chris Wells, RBOhio State

I got a lot of flak yesterday for my exclusion of Chris Wells from my top list. Make no mistake, this guy has the talent to get it done this year.

As a sophomore last season, Wells rushed for over 1,600 yards and 15 touchdowns while playing through an injury. In the national title game loss to LSU, Wells provided a silver lining, rushing for 146 yards. He averaged almost six yards per carry, as well.

If Wells can avoid injury—and that's a big if—then he has as good a chance as anybody else to win the Heisman.


As always, thanks for reading. I may look at coaches on the hot seat tomorrow, but I'm not totally sure. I guess you'll just have to check back in to find out. God bless!