Jameis Winston became the second straight redshirt freshman to win the Heisman Trophy when the Florida State Seminoles quarterback took home the prestigious honor last season and according to NFL.com is the leading candidate to capture the award for a second straight season.
Winston will try to carry out what Johnny Manziel, Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford and Mark Ingram were unsuccessful in accomplishing after they won their Heisman’s and try to join Archie Griffin as the only two-time Heisman winners, but he faces a great deal of competition, including from some awfully talented quarterbacks and a trio of running backs from the SEC, among others.
Here is the complete list from NFL.com’s Mike Huguenin:
14 Taysom Hill, QB, BYU
13 Jeremy Langford, RB, Michigan State
12 Taylor Kelly, QB, Arizona State
11 T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama
10 Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina
9 Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
8 Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn
7 Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
6 Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
5 Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
4 Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor
3 Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
2 Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
1 Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Including Reggie Bush who had his award vacated after violating NCAA rules, 12 of the past 14 winners of college football’s most prestigious individual award have been quarterbacks, so it’s no surprise to see five of the top six candidates to be signal-callers.
Running backs have had a tough time winning the award as Ingram was the last to win the award when he became Alabama’s first Heisman winner when he took home the bronze statue in 2009, but this could be the year where a back trumps the quarterbacks with Gurley being the best bet to do so if he can stay healthy and lead Georgia to the SEC Championship Game.
Who do you think will end up winning the Heisman in 2014? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below with who you think will take it home.