The Heisman Trophy is college football’s greatest individual honor. In recent years, the 25-pound bronze statue has been claimed almost exclusively by quarterbacks and running backs.
In fact, Michigan’s Charles Woodson, who was listed as both a DB and WR, was the last defensive player—one of only three—to win the award.
Expect the trend to continue this year. With early favorites such as Stanford QB Andrew Luck, South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore and Oregon running back LaMichael James leading the way, it seems likely that another player on the offensive side of the ball will be carrying home the hardware.
But the Heisman is a lot like the Kentucky Derby–upsets happen. No one saw Animal Kingdom (30:1 early on and 20:1 at race time) coming.
At the start of last season, Ohio State’s Terrelle Pryor and Alabama’s Mark Ingram looked to be the front-runners. While Michigan’s Denard Robinson pressed them early, eventually they all gave way to Cam Newton from Auburn.
That being said, here are six players—all long-shots—who could end up making an acceptance speech in Manhattan in December if everything breaks their way.