The college football season is quickly wrapping up, and the candidates for the season’s biggest award, the Heisman Trophy, have started to emerge. Keeping to the trend that has emerged over the last 13 years, it appears like once again a quarterback will take home the trophy. But what quarterbacks seem to be the front runners?
Jameis Winston, QB Florida State, Freshman: Winston has had a spectacular season so far this year, and his numbers show it. He has thrown for 3163 yards, with 32 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. He hasn’t put up spectacular rushing numbers like other recent Heisman quarterbacks have produced, but he has shown excellent mobility. He has emerged as one of the top candidates for the award by leading his Florida State team to a number 2 BCS ranking. The one thing holding him back is the level of competition he has had to face in the ACC. But as long as he keeps his numbers up over the last few games of the season, he should still end the season as the favorite.
Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M, Sophomore: Manziel has once again had a dominate season showing off a quality arm along with tremendous athleticism. He makes plays that no other player in the NCAA could accomplish, but his high turnover rate this season could prove to be the one thing standing between him and a second Heisman Trophy. He has thrown for a lofty 3537 yards, with 32 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He has also consistently shown his running ability by rushing for 655 yards, and eight touchdowns. It should be a close race between Manziel and Winston for the Heisman Trophy.
Bryce Petty, QB Baylor, Junior: Petty’s most impressive stat is 26 touchdowns, and only one interception. He has shown he can hold onto the ball and not make any mistake which is a big part of being considered the best player in college football. Not only has his passing been good this year, but he has also shown that he can run the ball and be very effective in doing so. He has run for only 173 yards, but was able to convert that into 10 touchdowns. Being the leader on the nation’s highest scoring offense has helped position Petty into the Heisman conversation, but it just doesn’t seem like he has the flare to overcome Winston or Manziel.
Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon, Sophomore: Mariota, much like Petty has been spectacular at protecting the ball. He has thrown for 3127 yards with 27 touchdowns and two interceptions. He added an additional 529 yards running and nine rushing touchdowns. His numbers suggest he would be a front runner in this conversation; however his low completion percentage of 64.2 is just not effective enough to pass the other quarterbacks on this list. The losses to Stanford and most recently the lackluster performance against Arizona are ultimately what will be seen as Mariota’s downfall in the Heisman race.
A.J. McCarron, QB Alabama, Senior: Many people feel inclined to add A.J McCarron, quarterback Alabama, to the list of Heisman hopefuls; however his numbers just don’t suggest he can overtake anyone else on the list. He is the quarterback in the best team in college football, and one of the best dynasties the game has ever seen, but that isn’t enough of a reason to put him on the list of Heisman candidates. That being said, McCarron will still be an excellent NFL prospect after this season.
Overall, as long as all the candidates keep their number consistent, the race should ultimately come down to Winston vs. Manziel, where Winston will take the slight edge and become the second freshman in a row to win the trophy.
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