Tebow, McCoy, Bradford, and Devine? Oh MY! 2009 Heisman Predicitons

Dave WalkerCorrespondent IJuly 20, 2009

We are months away from the Heisman Presentation in downtown New York, but it is never too early to hype up the candidates, and this year there is no shortage of them.

This year the winners from the past two Heisman's will undoubtedly lead the pack. Sam Bradford had a fantastic Heisman winning season, throwing for over 4700 yards and 50 touchdowns. Two years ago it was Tim Tebow tearing up the record books, over 4000 all purpose yards and 55 Touchdowns.

Both are expected to make a run at a second Heisman this fall, but there will be many others that have something to say about that. There will be the gunslinger from Austin, the Best breakaway back in the Pac Ten, a mountaineer looking to Devine the critics, and a Golden Domer who is ready to lead the way. It should be a very interesting year for fans and voters.

Here is a look at My top ten, in alphabetical order.

Junior Running Back, California, Jahvid Best.

Best is just that in the Pac Ten, the best. Last year, despite missing one game, Best ran for 1580 yards and 15 touchdowns. This, despite having little help in the vertical game, and inconsistent play at quarterback. This year look for Best to have just as good of a year. Games against Maryland, Eastern Washington, and Minnesota will help him pad his stats early before the heart of the Pac Ten season. Watch for him to grab more balls out of the backfield, and be a solid contributor in the return game. Look for 2500 all purpose yards, 20 touchdowns, and possibly a Doak Walker award when it is all said and done.

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Junior Quarterback, Oklahoma, Sam Bradford.

The defending Heisman winner is back and hoping to continue to break records in Norman. Bradford is also hoping to get the Sooners over the hump and win another National Title. Last year, his 4720 yards and 50 touchdowns were good enough to win the Heisman, but Bradford could not deliver in the title game. This year, a new offensive line could pose some problems for the award winning QB, but look for Bradford to continue to step up and make big plays. He has an all conference tight end back, along with running backs Chris Brown and DeMarco Murray. Bradford will throw for nearly 4000 yards, 35 touchdowns, and get invited back to NYC for a chance at the repeat.

Junior Quarterback, Notre Dame, Jimmy Clausen.

Irish eyes will be once again eyeing a BCS game this fall, and one of the big reasons will be because of the play of Jimmy Clausen. Clausen threw for over 3000 yards last year to go with his 25 touchdown passes. This, despite having a rush offense that was ranked near the bottom nationally. Clausen has a veteran offensive line, a big play receiver in Golden Tate, and a very manageable schedule. Look for Clausen to get out of the box quick, with big games against Nevada, Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue. His biggest game will be on National TV October 17th, against a rebuilt USC defense. If he has a strong outing here, look for him to be a front runner heading into the season's second half. Clausen should throw for close to 4000 yards and 30 TD's this season.

Junior Running Back, West Virginia, Noel Devine.

Devine could easily be one of the bigger dark horses in this race. As a sophomore last year he ran for nearly 1300 yards and 4 TD's. This year, with the graduation of starting quarterback Pat White, look for Devine to be the center piece of the offense and get into the end zone more. With new QB Jarrett Brown in the mix now, look for Devine to be used as a safety valve in the passing game. The schedule early should allow for Devine to get off to a great start. A 1500 yard season on the ground to go with 15 TD's should be do-able, and Devine may find himself in the running come late November.

Senior Quarterback, BYU, Max Hall.

Hall may be a long shot to win the trophy playing in the Mountain West, which just seems to never get any respect. Last year, Hall threw for nearly 4000 yards, and 35 touchdowns. Hall will have the benefit of going head-to-head with last year's winner Sam Bradford in the opener. A solid showing, and better yet, a Cougar upset could easily thrust Hall into the top spot. But tough games with Florida State and conference foes TCU and Utah could hamper the statistical output. Nonetheless, look for Hall to air out 4000 yards and at least 35 TD's again, as Hall and Cougar fans hope voters fall in love with the play of Max Hall.

Junior Running Back, Oklahoma State, Kendall Hunter.

This is a spot where one of the big three from the Cowboys will be. QB Zac Robinson, WR Dez Bryant, or Hunter could all get the nod. I look for Hunter to have a monster season. Last year, Hunter led the Big 12 in rushing with over 1500 yards, and also had 16 touchdowns. With the big play ability of the Cowboys offense, look for defenses to try and defend against the big play, allowing Hunter to rack up enormous chunks of yardage. Look for his best game to be in the biggest game at Oklahoma. Hunter will go for over 1800 yards, 15 touchdowns, and be in the running when it is all said and done.

Senior Quarterback, Texas, Colt McCoy.

McCoy enters the season as a front runner after last seasons effort. McCoy threw for nearly 4000 yards, 34 touchdowns, and ran for over 500 yards and 11 touchdowns. Now that is Tebow like. This season, the pressure is on the gunslinger, as many are taking Texas to go and play for the National title, and why not? There is a veteran line, solid defense, and they have Colt McCoy. Look for Colt and the Longhorns to put up big numbers throughout their first five games leading up to the Red River rivalry game on the 17th of October. Both teams should be undefeated, so the winner of this game, either Bradford or McCoy, will have a leg up on the other. McCoy throws for 3500 yards, 40 TD's, and runs for 350 more and 5 TD's.

Senior Quarterback, Florida, Tim Tebow.

If there is one player the last 30 years that actually is giving Archie Griffin a run for his money, it's Tim Tebow. Tebow engineered the Gators to their second title in three years last year, throwing for over 2700 yards and 30 TD's. He also ran for nearly 700 yards. Where many really felt he made the difference, was with his speech after the Ole Miss loss, where he said that no one would play harder than Tebow down the stretch. He was right, as the Gators went off, and dominated the remainder of their schedule. A manageable schedule, along with an arsenal of weapons, will lead to another huge Tebow year. 3200 yards passing, 33 TD's, 600 yards on the ground and 15 TD's here, as Tebow goes to NYC again.

Junior Running Back, Penn State, Evan Royster.

Royster is a definitely the long shot on the list. Not many see the Big Ten as that deep or good of a conference this year, so look for Royster to pile up the touches and the yards. Last year, Royster ran for over 1200 yards and 12 touchdowns. Plus, this year, with the departure of both starting receivers, Royster is the leading returning receiver. In a Joe Paterno offense, the running back gets plenty of touches. This year, look for Royster to go for over 1400 yards on the ground, 200-300 yards in the air, and at least 15 touchdowns as he keeps Penn State in the running for the Roses.

Junior Wide Receiver, Oklahoma State, Dez Bryant.

There is no way to keep this explosive offensive weapon off of the list. Last year, he caught 87 balls for over 1400 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also can have a big impact in the return game, where he added several hundred more yards to his total. With Bryant, Hunter, and Robinson all back, look for him to have another spectacular season. Opponents will be looking to stop him from making the big play, so expect a lot of catches, but for not as many yards per catch. Nonetheless, Bryant goes for 1200 yards receiving, 500 yards in the return game, and adds 16 touchdowns to run away with the Belitnikoff award.

I am sure this list will be debatable to say the least. Left off of this list were Zac Robinson of Oklahoma State, Jevan Snead of Ole Miss, Jonathan Dwyer of Georgia Tech, and DeMarco Murray of Oklahoma.

Also, there are some guys on the defensive side of the ball that should be mentioned as possible dark horses. Watch out for George Selvie of South Florida, Jerry Hughes of TCU, Javier Arenas of Alabama, and Sean Spence out of Miami.

These are just predicitions, so I am sure that I will be looking back in December and saying what happened. But what do you think? Will Tebow join the ranks of the Archie Griffins? Is Colt McCoy due? Can Bradford defend? Will a running back run away with it? As always, your comments are greatly appreciated.


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