Owner Todd Helmick maintains an Official
2011 Top 25 Heisman List
QB Andrew Luck - Stanford
|Once Andrew Luck decided
to pass up a $30 million opportunity
to become the overall No. 1 pick by
the Carolina Panthers in April’s
NFL Draft, the "still only going
to be a redshirt junior" quarterback
became the top Heisman contender for
next season. Already a Heisman finalist
from 2010, Luck enjoys the college life
and wishes to earn a degree. Kudos to
Luck for telling the ESPN pundits who
like to believe the NFL and their impending
year round Draft coverage is the best
game in town really is not. No one is
quite sure if Stanford can duplicate
another impressive 12-1 type of campaign
given the personnel/coaching losses
but this is by far the best QB in college
football - at least from a pro draft
RB LaMichael James - Oregon
James will continue
to put up monster numbers in this
quick strike prolific Duck offense.
That much head coach Chip Kelly will
assure. There is not another running
back at this juncture that carries
the Heisman weight of this 2010 finalist.
The running back list is very short
at the top. In fact, James is a shoe-in
to at least be back at the Heisman
ceremony barring injury.
QB Kellen Moore - Boise State
|If the same trends
continue, Moore will leave college football
as the most efficient passer in the
history of the sport. After being the
first Boise State player to ever be
invited to the Heisman ceremony, he
is a likely candidate to repeat that
individual effort as the last three
years of consistency in this program
have demonstrated. As a team, the Broncos
will again contend for Top 5 position
in all the polls with Moore back behind
center. This aspect alone makes his
case that more plausible.
QB Denard Robinson - Michigan
nation's fourth leading rusher is a
monster behind center…at least
in the Rich Rodriguez offensive system.
How will new head coach Brady Hoke utilize
Robinson? Don't underestimate the junior's
arm; he can throw it too if that is
Hoke’s pleasure. There are not
too many quarterbacks on the Michigan
roster that can boast Robinson's skills
so expect him to continue doing what
he does best. This will be an interesting
spring in Ann Arbor as fans wait to
see what Hoke has in store and what
changes he might make for his QB.
QB Darron Thomas - Oregon
|Oregon is a major,
major threat with both LaMichael James
and Darron Thomas in this backfield.
This is not a case though like Alabama
had last fall where former reigning
Heisman winner Mark Ingram had to share
the carries with Trent Richardson. Thomas
and James play different positions.
Thomas runs the spread option better
than anyone, making split decisions
that could carry the Ducks into another
BCS National Championship appearance.
Assuming the Ducks continue their offensive
onslaught and winning ways, both James
and Thomas could be finalists for this
QB Landry Jones - Oklahoma
|Whether measured by
completions or passing yards, Landry
Jones was the nation's second best passer
in 2010. With all of his offensive weapons
set to return in Norman and OU expected
to start the season out at the No. 1
spot in all the polls, Jones is easily
the top newcomer to this Heisman discussion.
Bob Stoops’ offense is a perfect
fit for Jones, or vice-versa. Either
way the Sooners look to win games and
post huge numbers. Jones will be the
benefactor next December when all these
individual awards get handed out.
WR Justin Blackmon - Oklahoma
actually dotted quite a few Heisman
lists through out the 2010 season, which
will work well in his favor. Some have
compared his skills to that of former
Big 12 superstar receiver Michael Crabtree.
He is the most gifted receiver in American
when measuring physical skills and hands.
The fact he plays in this wide-open
Stillwater system and that his quarterback
also returns, Blackmon could be the
first true receiver to win the award
since Desmond Howard in 1991.
RB Marcus Lattimore - South Carolina
SEC Freshman of The Year is a vital
part of the Steve Spurrier game plan.
The Gamecocks rely on the run quite
heavily these days and the talented
Lattimore is sure to continue earning
a large number of carries. Lattimore
does not post huge statistics but is
a pure workhorse. It's doubtful this
sophomore can make a move towards being
considered a Heisman type of ball carrier
under this premise unless his Gamecocks
can win the SEC East Division. Well,
they already did that. Is there an encore
RB Trent Richardson - Alabama
|Several factors give
Richardson a good chance to make a Heisman
run. First, he won't have to share the
carries with Ingram leaving for the
NFL. Second, he will play on a top rated
team. Third, his offensive line should
be much improved. Fourth, and most important,
Richardson is a physical specimen rarely
found playing at this level. The expectations
following his heralded high school accolades
are soon to be met.
QB Brandon Weeden - Oklahoma State
The 27-year old
college senior who was the first player
chosen in the 2002 Major League Baseball
draft by the New York Yankees has
already broken most every single season
passing record at Oklahoma State including
many set by his predecessor Zac Robinson.
He is not a running quarterback however
like Robinson, but the Big 12 leading
offense of last year does welcome
back ten starters. Weeden can seriously
win this award if they can take Oklahoma
out in the Bedlam Series. This offense
is primed and ready to go.
QB Terrelle Pryor - Ohio State
felt Pryor was capable of winning two
Heisman Trophies upon arriving in Columbus.
He has never even been invited to the
ceremony. No doubt Pryor should be ranked
higher than this, but his current five
game suspension for the upcoming season
will make it awfully difficult to compete
for post-season awards. He obviously
won't be able to produce Heisman-like
season statistics when compared to all
the others. The only chance he would
have is if his Buckeyes can run the
complete table while Pryor performs
a miracle on the field upon his return.
While he has been very good to great
at times, the same type of outing in
2011 won't be near enough.
RB James White - Wisconsin
|The Badgers always
maintain an All-American type at running
back. With John Clay leaving early for
the NFL, the Madison spotlight gets
narrowed down to this young Sunshine
State product. James White is set to
carry the long-standing tradition of
toting the pigskin on this campus. He
is only a true sophomore, but that should
not surprise anyone knowing that White
finished as the team's top rusher last
fall averaging a mighty 6.7 yards per
carry and recording 14 touchdowns.
WR Ryan Broyles - Oklahoma
|This high scoring Sooner
wagon revolves around Ryan Broyles.
If he isn't beating defenses catching
passes (131 receptions for 1,622 yards)
he can beat them returning punts. Many
were shocked when Broyles decided to
return to Norman for his senior year.
With Broyles, the two best receivers
in the country reside in the state of
Oklahoma (OSU Justin Blackmon is the
other). A massive storm is brewing on
the plains. It's the OU offense breaking
the huddle and Broyles is right in the
thick of it.
QB Robert Griffin III - Baylor
of Baylor football can be pin pointed
to the success of Robert Griffin.
Plenty of athletes reside on this
Heisman List and Griffin is probably
one of the top four in regards to
pure athleticism. Now that is a hefty
statement. In 2010, he was the only
active sophomore with 5,000 passing
and 1,000 rushing yards. Baylor isn't
a favorite to win the Big 12 or post
a 10-win type of season, which obviously
hurts his Heisman cause. But he and
Michigan's Denard Robinson are the
best dual-threat quarterbacks for
WR Michael Floyd - Notre Dame
|With his 6’3
size and splendid hands, there are few
defenders that can slow down Michael
Floyd in this predominant Irish passing
attack. He is the star in South Bend
by a long shot, which gives him all
the media attention a player trying
to compete for the Heisman could wish
for. Don't let that factor alone plead
his Heisman case, Floyd is the best
possession receiver in the country when
using his size.
QB Taylor Martinez - Nebraska
redshirt freshman Martinez took the
nation by storm as a newcomer in the
early part of 2010 and quickly jumped
right into the thick of the Heisman
race. Then youthful reality hit and
Nebraska found difficulty scoring
at times as Martinez worked through
a few injuries. Martinez represents
the return of "old school"
Nebraska football utilizing a quarterback
who can hit the home run carrying
the ball with authority while beating
teams throwing the ball when they
try to stop it. He shattered numerous
Husker freshman records doing both.
RB Knile Davis - Arkansas
- OUT FOR THE YEAR
|When any player at
any position can be tabbed as a First
Team All-SEC honoree in just his sophomore
season he is special. This power packed
running back named Davis will carry
a much heavier load for the Razorbacks
now that passing sensation Ryan Mallett
has moved on to the NFL. Whether this
equates to better numbers for Davis
or not will determine if he can truly
reach lofty Heisman status. The odds
say no but Arkansas has found their
playmaker for next season.
RB Edwin Baker - Michigan State
All-Big Ten selection Baker has rushed
for 1,628 yards in his first two seasons.
The Spartans will maintain a balanced
attack with quarterback Kirk Cousins
returning. But when power football between
the tackles is required in East Lansing,
Baker is the “goto” guy.
Balance and experience should allow
Baker to put up even bigger numbers.
QB Matt Barkley - Southern California
Barkley has posted
back-to-back impressive seasons since
starting as a true freshman in 2009.
All of the scholarship reductions
and post-season bans at USC will continue
to hamper his cause. Don't be surprised
if Barkley winds up as one of the
top signal callers by season's end.
The former High School National Player
of The Year is talented enough to
pull USC out of this probation skid.
DT Jared Crick - Nebraska
Crick represents the only defensive
player on this list, which was the
same case a year ago when his teammate
Ndamukong Suh declared him the next
"Suh" and he cracked the
list then too. Crick did not disappoint
and in the last two years has posted
a grand total of 32 tackles for loss,
19 sacks and 143 total tackles. Those
are monster numbers for a defensive
QB Bryant Moniz - Hawai'i
|What quarterback passed
for the most yards in 2010? Bryant Moniz
did with 5,040 of them. Call him a product
of the system if you will, but those
types of numbers make him worthy on
this deep list. His senior year might
not be as productive given the shear
amount of talent surrounding him that
has moved on.
RB Ed Wesley - TCU
|TCU is becoming a staple
in big time college football. They have
a defensive star in linebacker Tank
Carder. With quarterback Andy Dalton
finally graduating the star status falls
on Wesley to carry the offensive load.
His 6.5-yard per carry average last
fall helped the Horned Frogs to an undefeated
RB Chris Polk - Washington
|Chris Polk decided
to stick around Washington for another
season. While all the talk in Seattle
last fall revolved around quarterback
Jake Locker, who is now departed, Polk
quietly put up 1,415 yards on the ground
carrying the pigskin. Another 7-6 record
is not going to place a guy like Polk
too high on a Heisman list. But this
kid can play.
RB Michael Dyer - Auburn
Dyer was the nation's top rated running
back out of high school according to
ESPN. No one was quite sure if he could
handle the pressure as a true freshman
tailback playing a large role in a championship
run. He did with the help of guy named
Cam Newton. Dyer will no longer have
that luxury and his offensive line gets
retooled. The nation will certainly
find out in 2011 if Dyer is as advertised.
QB Russell Wilson - Wisconsin
might consider this a long shot. Well,
the No. 25 spot on this list surely
is. Russell Wilson may be a better
baseball player and during the summer
he will continue to pursue that career.
In 2008, Wilson was the first freshman
ever to be named the first-team All-ACC
quarterback. He has a propensity to
toss the interception but when Wilson
is on his game, he is elusive, dangerous
and awfully fun to watch.