College Football Heisman Watch

Josh Ellis

Although we are just four weeks into the college football season, the race for the Heisman Trophy is already beginning to take shape. Some preseason favorites have dropped off the map and a few unheralded players have launched themselves into the discussion. Here is your complete breakdown of the battle for the Heisman:

The Favorites

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon:Mariota is the catalyst of the Ducks’ high-flying spread offense that has scored at least 59 points in every game. Efficient and explosive through the air and on the ground, the lanky sophomore from Honolulu, Hawaii is an absolute nightmare for opposing defenses. As the star quarterback for the one of the best teams in the nation, the Heisman is Mariota’s to lose.

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M:The legend of Johnny Football grows with every passing week. His numbers are flat out silly but it is almost impossible to overlook his two costly picks in the Aggies’ loss to Alabama two weeks ago. Last year, his performance in the win over Alabama won him the Heisman; this year his performance in the loss may cost him the same. However, if he throws for 400 yards and runs for 150 every game for the rest of the season, something he is quite capable of doing, it will be impossible to deny him the Trophy.

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: Big, tall and with a cannon for an arm, Bridgewater has NFL scouts drooling and ACC defenses shaking in their cleats. His passer rating this season is off the charts, but an incredibly weak schedule brings up questions of legitimacy. If he continues his streak of dominance, his numbers will become increasingly harder to ignore. However, with no top-25 teams left on his schedule, will Bridgewater be able to produce any true Heisman moments?

Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia: Arguably the best running back in the nation, Gurley has put the Dawgs on his back, carrying them to a statement win over South Carolina. A bruising every-down back with home run speed, the sophomore will continue to terrorize SEC defenses all season long. If he can put up big numbers in wins over Alabama and LSU, Gurley will win the Heisman.

Dark Horses

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State:The next Johnny Football? Just like Manziel, Winston is an electric freshman who wasted no time introducing himself to the nation. In his first ever game, the 19-year-old threw for 356 yards on 25-of-27 passing and five total touchdowns – not bad for his first time around. Keep your eye on this Seminole, because as Manziel showed last year, age really is just a number.

 Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor:Through three Baylor wins, Seastrunk has rushed for 417 yards, scored six touchdowns and is averaging 11 yards per carry. Yes, you read that right: 11 yards per carry. Don’t be surprised if these numbers continue throughout the season. The junior is a lightning quick and incredibly balanced runner with uncanny vision for the hole. If the Bears keep winning and Seastrunk keeps ripping off long, explosive runs, there is no reason to think we won’t be seeing the RB in New York for the Heisman Trophy Presentation.

Contact Josh Ellis at [email protected]