Owner Todd Helmick maintains an Official Heisman
2009 Top 25 Heisman List
QB Tim Tebow - Sr., FLORIDA
The man has two national championship rings and
a Heisman already. Yes, Bradford won the “Stiff
Arm” competition last year with far better
passing numbers over the course of the year, but
Tebow showed in their head-to-head match up for
all the marbles just how good he can be. Should
the Gators win another title as they are heavily
favored to do, Tebow would easily have to go down
as one of the greatest college quarterbacks of all-time.
QB Sam Bradford - Jr., OKLAHOMA
His passing numbers were astounding a year ago in
this hurry-up no-huddle offense as the Sooners left
opposing teams wondering what happened just 25 minutes
into the game. He made a few mistakes that cost
his team in the BCS title game but there is no reason
to believe he won’t improve on or duplicate
the same aerial numbers (and won/loss record). He
is the defender of the Heisman for now. Let the
same comparisons resume. However, after the Heisman
was handed out, Tebow took over in grand fashion
and won the battle that counted most.
QB Colt McCoy - Sr., TEXAS
Tebow, Bradford or McCoy? One almost has to feel
bad for McCoy as his name is always the last to
be mentioned in this three-man discussion. His team
defeats the Sooners in the regular season but gets
voted out of a chance to play for the title in favor
of the same team they beat. He puts up Heisman-like
statistics while out rushing all the other top candidates
(also maintained the highest completion rate) but
again, he gets voted out of this prestigious award
while wallowing in the shadows of Oklahoma. He is
a four-year starter, but it’s obvious he has
to do more than just win games. What that is, unfortunately
nobody really knows.
WR Dez Bryant - Jr., OKLAHOMA STATE
Want more Big 12 offense? Then look no further than
Stillwater. Three Oklahoma State players (Bryant,
Hunter and Robinson) all rank high on this list.
What separates Bryant aside from the fact he finished
ranked among the top three nationally in four major
statistical categories, he is also a return specialist
extraordinaire. Receivers rarely ever win this award.
If they do, it is because they do something else
than catch passes. If he continues to put up multiple
scores via his electric return talents, he has a
RB Evan Royster - Jr., PENN STATE
What really helps Royster is the fact the nation’s
top backs of 2008 have departed early to play in
the NFL. Five of the top six backs likely taken
in the NFL Draft left college before their eligibility
expired, which leaves Royster as one of the premier
ball carriers. He won’t have the luxury of
operating behind the same veteran offensive line,
but with Penn State losing most all of their receivers,
he now becomes their No. 1 threat. A Big Ten running
back usually dots this list and Royster carries
on the tradition.
QB Todd Reesing - Sr., KANSAS
Where did Todd disappear to last season? His sophomore
campaign of 2007 and the stats that came with it
put the Austin, TX native on the Heisman map. His
notoriety got whipped off the board in 2008 as Big
12 neighbors Bradford, McCoy, Harrell and Daniel
stole the limelight. After an impressive bowl outing
to close the year and a wealth of receivers returning
to surround him, Reesing is ready to lobby for more
votes with a superior senior effort. The Jayhawks
need more than another 8-5 record however to boost
QB Max Hall - Sr., BRIGHAM YOUNG
Max was never in a position to get invited to the
Heisman ceremony. He was however, making a push
for outside consideration before crashing the final
two games of ’08 against Arizona and Utah.
He did manage to become the MWC single-season record
holder for touchdowns (35) and he may be the smartest
quarterback on this list. Winning a conference title
in a league where TCU and Utah have made the MWC
nothing to sneeze at would go a long way to boosting
his voting total.
RB Kendall Hunter - Jr., OKLAHOMA STATE
The Big 12’s leading rusher by more than 30
yards per game is a prime example of how difficult
the task is of defending these wide open attacks.
The Cowboys are the talk of league heading into
2009 in terms of veteran offensive firepower at
the skill positions and Hunter is a big part of
RB Jahvid Best - Jr., CALIFORNIA
California's "Best" at everything gave
the Golden Bears a 1,000 yard rusher for the seventh
year in a row, the second best streak in the Pac
Ten only to USC's 10 in a row from 1972-81. In addition
to his running prowess he finished tied for second
on the team in receptions and is first in the Pac
Ten in both all-purpose yards and kickoff returns.
Playing so many lucrative roles makes Jahvid one
of the most versatile athletes on this list.
RB Jonathan Dwyer - Jr., GEORGIA TECH
Granted Tech has a history of producing sound running
games and Dwyer produced a solid freshman season
just two years ago, but the reigning ACC Player
of the Year has now become a beast in Paul Johnson’s
triple option attack. Rushing for over 1,400 yards
while averaging 7.0 yards per carry, there were
times at the end of last season that Dwyer looked
absolutely unstoppable. Dwyer is going to manufacture
colossal numbers carrying the ball as he learns
to master this complicated system.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers - So., OREGON STATE
Only standing at a 5'7, the freshman sensation of
2008 is one of the quickest running backs in the
country from point A to point B. He owns the Pac-10
record for freshman rushing with 1,253 yards and
was named the Pac-10’s Offensive Player of
the Year, marking the first time a freshman has
received the award.
QB Zac Robinson - Sr., OKLAHOMA STATE
While there are several quarterbacks listed ahead
of Robinson here, when dissecting the term "dual-threat
QB" no other candidate on this list fits the
description better. Robinson has Tim Tebow-like
numbers with 1,553 career rushing yards and 6,223
career passing yards. The spread offense has been
good for the Big 12, Oklahoma State and Zac Robinson.
All his team has to do is be in the thick of the
Big 12 South race entering November, and those odds
DeMarco Murray - Jr.,
Murray does more than just excel as another running
back in this prolific Sooner offense. He set an
OU single season record for all-purpose yards last
fall and was the team's leading kick returner with
774 yards, second best in the school's history.
Not only that, but he has blossomed into quite a
receiving threat while recording 31 catches a year
ago. Teams like Oklahoma are going to win and in
the process players like DeMarco Murray are going
to find their way into Heisman discussions.
QB Case Keenum - Jr., HOUSTON
The highest rated candidate not participating in
a BCS aligned conference, the young Keenum is primed
to smash all the school records held by famous Houston
quarterbacks before him like Andre Ware, David Klingler
and Kevin Kolb. He finished the 2008 season as the
nation's leader in total offense at 403.2 yards
RB MiQuale Lewis - Sr., BALL STATE
With Ball State finishing the 2008 regular season
undefeated, someone like Lewis was sure to get noticed.
He has an instinct for finding the end zone after
tallying 22 rushing touchdowns and 132 points a
year ago. He also managed to rush for over 100 yards
11 different times. He won't have QB Nate Davis
handing him the ball and taking the heat off the
run game, which won't help his cause. Lewis needs
another 12-win team effort to climb on this list
and that likelihood does not appear to be in the
QB Juice Williams - Sr., ILLINOIS
When Juice emerged as a freshman on the field three
seasons ago, everyone could see how his feet were
going to make a difference (currently in the Top
5 of the Big Ten Quarterback Career Rushing List).
But now he is starting to do damage with his arm.
The problem is he sometimes completes passes to
the other team. Repeating his 16-interception performance
of '08 won't remotely put him anywhere near a sniff
of this race. He does have a great chance to leave
Illinois as the school's most productive signal
QB Dan LeFevour - Sr., CENTRAL MICHIGAN
Earning a reputation while playing in a conference
that has become famous for producing NFL caliber
quarterbacks is no easy task. LeFevour will likely
finish 2009 as the MAC record holder for total offense,
surpassing Marshall's Byron Leftwich. The Chippewas
are primed to be the MAC heavy hitter this fall,
which is good enough to merit more national recognition
for the four-year starter.
QB Daryll Clark - Sr., PENN STATE
When Penn State wins as it was doing last season,
guys like Royster and Clark are going to get recognized.
Clark is not the best passer in the Big Ten, nor
is he the best runner despite the fact he does both
very well. His game management and ability to make
plays with both his feet and his arm is good enough
to give the Nittany Lions a great shot at defending
their conference crown despite the massive personnel
losses. This feat would not be possible without
Clark behind center. He eerily reminds fans of former
PSU quarterback Michael Robinson.
QB Jevan Snead - Jr., OLE MISS
The Texas Longhorn transfer has already done more
for the Ole Miss program than the highest of expectations
could have imagined. The Rebels are now a contender
in the SEC. Snead does not currently have the numbers
to compete in this race, especially when playing
conference second fiddle to Tim Tebow. Don't be
surprised to see Snead better those stats as he
grows into head coach Houston Nutt's system. He
has a wealth of playmakers surrounding him.
RB Noel Devine - Jr., WEST VIRGINIA
WVU has become synonymous with rushing attack. With
QB Pat White departing, the person expected to continue
the ground success is the all-around, quick hitting
athlete Devine. He has a knack for rushing, receiving
and returning kicks with bursts of speed second
to few. All his departed blockers need replaced
and it will be interesting to see just how Devine
handles the load as the team's premier star.
QB Matt Grothe - Sr., SOUTH FLORIDA
Only standing at 6'0 tall, his NFL forecast isn't
so grand. Grothe emerged on the national landscape
after his sensational freshman campaign of 2006.
He is exquisite at making things happen while scrambling
and is primed to become the Big East record holder
for career yards in total offense. His big problem...
he has tossed 14 interceptions in each of the last
two seasons. Coaches have put enough talent around
him that hopefully he begins to realize he does
not have to do it alone. Under this premise, his
last season could be the best.
QB Tim Hiller - Sr., WESTERN MICHIGAN
Some folks might wonder how Tim Hiller cracks this
list. Granted he is in a long shot type of position
playing in Kalamazoo, MI but his stats rank right
up there with many of the qualified 2008 quarterbacks.
Don't sleep on quality MAC passers. Hiller finished
in the Top 10 nationally in passing yards per game
while throwing 36 touchdowns to only 10 interceptions.
He was buried behind LeFevour and Davis last year
on the MAC quarterback pecking order. With some
team success he could make a move in the race for
MAC quarterback supremacy.
QB Terrelle Pryor - So., OHIO STATE
Every college football fan under the sun knows what
the expectations are for the heralded prep star
that took over the starting duties in Columbus his
first year on campus. Granted, his true freshman
statistics do not measure up when compared to many
of the names on this list despite the fact he is
the team's returning leading rusher. But everyone
also knows that it's only a matter of "when"
and not "if" he can compete for this type
of hefty honor. Pryor has all the physical tools
and obviously a strong supporting cast to make the
QB Jimmy Clausen - Jr., NOTRE DAME
This Irish team has taken a step forward every season
since Clausen arrived on campus and began life operating
the most prestigious position in college football.
Of course, this would have been hard not to accomplish
after the failures demonstrated early in the process.
The incredibly strong recruiting classes have yet
to pay full dividends and people have become accustomed
to watching Notre Dame struggle. That is not going
to be the case in 2009 and even with a possible
8 or 9 win season, the ND signal caller still gets
plenty of exposure. He wasn't the 2006 High School
Player of the Year by many publications for no good
QB Colin Kaepernick - Jr., NEVADA
The reigning WAC Offensive Player of the Year used
his strong arm and quick feet to become just the
fifth QB in NCAA Division I-A (FBS) history to throw
for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the
same season. He still has a ways to go before mastering
the passing aspects of the "Pistol Offense"
he operates under. This offense is geared for constructing
personal statistics and Kaepernick is flourishing.
In reality, a kid from Reno won't have a shot at
winning the Heisman, but he is worthy of being a
part of the extended discussion.