by Nicholas Cicale (@)
Happy college football kickoff everyone! Enjoy the games tonight and this weekend, and keep an eye on this year’s preseason Heisman hopefuls.
1. Johnny Manziel, QB
I know winning it back to back is close to impossible and there’s been a lot of negativity during the offseason surrounding Johnny Football, but that might be blinding people of the fact that he’s still a really good football player, and was a freshman last year. He’s the reigning champion and now there’s no doubt he’ll be eligible to play this season. He’ll put up monster numbers again for A&M.
2. Teddy Bridgewater, QB
I’m the biggest Teddy Bridgewater supporter around. He wasn’t even in the Heisman discussion last season, yet he’s the best pure passer in the league. Lately, running QBs have been given an edge with voters but I see big things for Louisville this season, and if they make a splash in the rankings Bridgewater’s ability will be on everyone’s radar.
3. Marquise Lee, WR
The concerns with Lee are that he’s working with a new quarterback this year, and that his former teammate, wide receiver Robert Woods, fell off after his breakout season in 2011. I don’t think Lee will have a problem adjusting, and he should be the first receiver drafted to the NFL come 2014.
4. Braxton Miller, QB
Miller was almost a finalist last season, is a running QB, and is on a dominant team. Sounds like the making of an appearance to Times Square. I think he takes a small step back in the passing department, but as long as Ohio State is in the top ten he’ll be in the conversation all year.
5. AJ McCarron, QB
He lead the league in passer efficiency last season and is 24-2 as a starting QB, with 2 consecutive championship wins. It’s weird to say that this guy is under the radar, but he has been the last two seasons, and has showed noticeable improvements as he career has moved forward.
6. T.J. Yeldon, RB
Has there been a year where Alabama didn’t have a t least one 1300-yard rusher? Yeldon has the luxury to plays in a great offensive system and will no long split carries with Eddie Lacy. 6.3 yards per carry goes a long way when you team’s constantly trying to run the clock at the end of games. He’ll be the RB with the best chance going into the year.
7. Jadeveon Clowney, DE
Just because he’s currently the unanimous best player in college football doesn’t mean he’ll win the Heisman. Because he’s a defensive player he would have to do a lot more than look like a dominant force on the field, he would need flashy statistics to back him up. Forced fumbles, double-digit sacks, and maybe an interception or 2.