Heisman Trophy Watch: Newton, Moore, James, Luck, or Blackmon
As usual, there is a tremendous amount of talent in College Football this year. It's tough to narrow such a talented pool of individuals down to a top five, but I have managed to do it. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that Cameron Newton is one of these five. But, Newton does not have it locked up by any means. There are plenty of studs out there that can steal the trophy from him, some of which are not even on this list.
LaMichael James and Justin Blackmon, are the nation’s top players in their respective positions. They have separated themselves from others in their position, and the second half of the season will prove their legitimacy, or lack thereof.
There are also many quarterbacks out there pushing Cameron Newton in his quest for the trophy. I chose to highlight Kellen Moore and Andrew Luck. Although, many will argue that the freshman phenom’s Taylor Martinez and Denard Robinson also deserve to be in the discussion, and they probably do.
It's still early in the season, many things can and will change. Losses and/or injures will crush the hopes of some of these contenders.
My top five are: Cameron Newton, Kellen Moore, LaMichael James, Andrew Luck, and Justin Blackmon
Here is why...
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Cameron Newton: His Trophy to Lose!
Cameron Newton: Auburn – QB – Jr.
The obvious favorite to have his name etched on the 76th Heisman trophy at the end of the season is Cameron Newton.
Newton is one of the nation’s most efficient quarterbacks boasting a passer rating of 180.5. He has passed for 13 touchdowns and rushed for an additional 12. If you do some quick math – that’s 25 touchdowns…in seven games!
The Auburn Tigers have no problem moving the ball and Cam Newton is the catalyst. He still has some tough SEC defenses to face before we hand over the trophy. He’ll have to prove he can put up big numbers against the likes of LSU and Alabama, if he somehow manages that, he is a lock to win this thing.
Fun Fact: At 6’6” Cam Newton would be the tallest player to win the Heisman.
A much better fun fact (that I cannot verify) is: Cam Newton would be the first Heisman trophy winner to play football for three different colleges (Florida, Binn College, Auburn).
Kellen Moore: Can Moore Overcome the Boise State Stigma?
Kellen Moore: Boise State – QB – Jr.
Kellen Moore is the leader in arguably the nation’s most potent offense. The Broncos put up points!
Through six games he has thrown for nearly 1,600 yards and 16 touchdowns. He will likely continue to put up excellent stats, but what else does he need to do to overcome the stigma of playing in the WAC against a group of soft defenses? A National title, for one, would help his cause.
Unfortunately, passing for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns to the likes of Nevada, Hawaii and company, is not all that impressive. He’ll be in consideration till the very end based on the huge numbers he’s bound to put up in the remainder of their conference games. It’s going to be tough for him to out duel the other contenders and he won’t be able to get it done without some major help.
Fun Fact: No player from Boise State has ever won the Heisman. (It looks like the streak will continue)
LaMichael James: Can the Oregon Stud Take Home the Hardware?
LaMichael James: Oregon – RB – So.
LaMichael James is the cornerstone in the number one offense in college football and a legitimate threat to win the Heisman in his sophomore campaign.
The 5’9” back is quick, shifty, and has nearly impossible to tackle. He is just shy of 1,000 rushing yards through six games, has 11 touchdowns, and is looking absolutely unstoppable. He’s put up at least a touchdown in every game he’s played in this season, including three against Stanford were he also added 257 rushing yards.
There are a few more tough games on Oregon’s schedule, but they have a good shot to go undefeated, which puts them in the BCS Championship Game. If he can stay healthy and Oregon is playing for a national title at the end of the season, James wins the Heisman.
Fun Fact: Would be the shortest player to win the Heisman since 1938 (Davey O’Brien 5’7”)
Andrew Luck: A Solid Underdog Contender to Win the Heisman
Andrew Luck: Stanford – QB – So.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching Stanford’s offense operate, do yourself a favor and check them out. Their offense was once described to me as “Surgical”, and I couldn’t agree more. Andrew Luck operates an efficient offense where he picks apart defenses.
Luck is not the flashy dual threat quarterback that has become so popular, but he is arguably college football’s most pure pocket passer. His 1,500 passing yards and 16 touchdowns won’t jump off the page when compared to others in the Heisman hopefuls, but he’s consistent and definitely deserves the praise he gets.
Stanford is slated to face some very weak Pac-10 pass defenses, don’t be surprised to see Andrew Luck as a finalist when the Heisman is presented later this year.
Fun Fact: The past three Heisman winners were all sophomores – they are also the only three sophomores to ever win the trophy…yep you heard me.
Justin Blackmon: Will This Be the Year of The Receiver?
Justin Blackmon: Oklahoma State – WR – So.
In the past 10 years the only receiver to finish in the top three of Heisman voting was Larry Fitzgerald who was the runner-up in 2003. Needless to say, Wide Receivers usually don’t have what it takes to get the attention of Heisman voters. Justin Blackmon may just have what it takes to break the mold.
He has one of the nation’s best Quarterbacks in Brandon Weeden throwing to him, and they clearly have some ridiculous chemistry. Blackmon has consistently put up phenomenal numbers, leading the nation in receiving yards (955), and touchdowns (12). If he can somehow continue putting up insane numbers and Oklahoma State can stay atop the rankings he will remain one of the favorites.
Fun Fact: The last Wide Receiver to win the Heisman was Desmond Howard in 1991.
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