We're heading towards that point in the college football season where the pretenders seem to remove themselves from the Heisman equation and the real, true contenders rise up. Here are the top 5 players to watch in the race, and then a few names that you shouldn't ignore as the season proceeds.
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor Bears: Griffin continues to lead a Bears attack that’s scored 48 or more points in all three of their games so far this year. He’s eclipsed 250 yards in all three games, and he continues to be a force on the ground, too. He has thrown only 12 incomplete passes on 82 attempts this year.
Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin Badgers: Wilson is another guy who just keeps leading his team to impressive offensive outputs. And he’s another guy capable of getting it done on the ground. He’s put together back-to-back 340+ yard passing performances against Northern Illinois and South Dakota. Now he faces Nebraska with the opportunity to secure his first marquee win as a Badger.
Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State Broncos: Another steady performance from Moore, who completed 23 of his 29 pass attempts for 279 yards with four more touchdown passes. His Broncos continue to add wins as Moore continues to build his case for the Heisman Trophy.
Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU Tigers: Mathieu was all over the place for the Tigers in the win over the Mountaineers. He has two forced fumbles on the year, picked off Geno Smith Saturday night, and made a big special teams play to pin WVU within their own five. He also leads the team in tackles with 30; he has come up with double digit tackles twice so far this year—first against Oregon in the opener, and then last week against Mississippi State.
Others may have more impressive statistics, but he’s a dynamic playmaker who does as much or more than anybody to help his team win. If that doesn’t garner Heisman Trophy consideration, I don’t know what does.
LaMichael James, RB, Oregon Ducks: Choosing between James and Marcus Lattimore was tough. Lattimore has been more consistent through the first four weeks, but James is making a huge push with back-to-back 200+ yard rushing performances. He leads the nation in rushing by two yards ahead of Lattimore, and he’s done it on 42 fewer carries. Edge goes to James. He is third in yards-per-carry to Henry Josey of Missouri and Troy Pollard of Illinois.
In the hunt:
Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina Gamecocks
Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State Cowboys
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford Cardinal
Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma Sooners
Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson Tigers
Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan Wolverines
Case Keenum, QB, Houston Cougars