Who is Running for the Heisman?
by Shane M. Dayton
The Heisman Trophy remains college football’s greatest award for individual achievement. As always, the award is most wide open in the pre-season, when anyone and everyone is the next potential Heisman winner. So here’s a list of several of the most likely candidates, followed by a quick blurb.
Brian Brohm, Louisville. What hasn’t he done? Aside from re-writing record books and consistently ranking as one of the top two quarterbacks in the nation, if he can learn the new offensive scheme he should pick up right where he left off and be a top Heisman candidate: but running the table may be necessary.
Colt Brennan, Hawaii. Huge numbers, huge arm, and a potential undefeated season. Unless no one else is undefeated it’s not likely to happen, but Colt is the best QB Hawaii has ever put out, and a legitimate NFL talent.
John David Booty, USC. His team is a national powerhouse with a history of Heisman winners, he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the country, and everyone is watching. If USC loses even one game, though, you can probably count him out.
Colt McCoy, Texas. He’s only a sophomore, but he had an amazing freshman year and if he can build on that, Texas could go undefeated and make him impossible to ignore.
Also Watch: Chad Henne (Michigan), Chase Daniels (Missouri), Stephen McGee (Texas A&M), Pat White (West Virginia), Matt Grothe (South Florida), Matt Ryan (Boston College), Andre Woodson (Kentucky)
Darren McFadden, Arkansas. He’s definitely the early favorite and the most dominant running back currently in college football. There is no doubt he will tear through opponents and put up huge numbers, but he can only go so far as Arkansas can take him.
Steve Slaton, West Virginia. An explosive runner who terrifies defensive coordinators every time he even takes the field. He will put up huge numbers in the Big East, and if the Mountaineers can go undefeated, he’ll be the main reason why, though sharing the field with fellow Heisman hopeful Pat White may hurt.
Mike Hart, Michigan. Had two very good seasons. If he can mail in a great one and they can beat Wisconsin, then he has a very good chance of fulfilling all that potential.
P.J. Hill, Wisconsin. He’s not a burner, but neither were Ron Dayne or Ricky Williams. He is on a team that has a great chance of going undefeated and playing for the national championship while he racks up the yards—just like Ron Dayne or Ricky Williams.
Also Watch: Ray Rice (Rutgers), C.J. Gable (USC), Ian Johnson (Boise State), Jonathan Stewart (Oregon)
Mario Manningham, Michigan. The top receiver on a top Big Ten team. He has the physical skills, and if Michigan can make it to the national title game, he’ll be a major reason why. Biggest disadvantage: him, Henne, and Hart will all steal votes from one another.
DeSean Jackson, Cal. An explosive and powerful receiver, if Cal can topple USC he’ll be the individual player to get recognition.
Limas Sweed, Texas. Big, strong, and the main threat on a potential national title team. He’s got everything going his way.
Earl Bennett, Vanderbilt. Ironically, probably the best receiver in the country. Despite playing for perennial doormat Vandy, Bennett has been unstoppable as a freshman and sophomore. Usually Heisman winners come from big name teams, but if he can help Vandy jump to seven wins and a bowl, he could surprise.
Also Watch: Davone Bess (Hawaii), Percy Harvin (Florida), Sammie Strougher (Oregon), Malcolm Kelly (Oklahoma), Earl Doucet (LSU), Todd Blythe (ISU)