Heisman Trophy Candidates
1. Matt Barkley, QB, University of Southern California
Barkley is by far the front-runner to win both the Heisman this year as well as become the first overall pick in next year’s NFL Draft. He’s not going to have the hype of last year’s Andrew Luck, but many are comparing him to current Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford in that they have similar height, weight, and release patterns. As far as his potentiality to win the Heisman is concerned, he has one of the top 5 receivers in the country catching the ball in Robert Woods.
2. Marcus Lattimore, RB, University of South Carolina
Lattimore is an interesting running back that will generate buzz this year. He had a season ending knee injury last year that kept him out of the Heisman chase then, but he’ll be back to full strength in time for this season. Lattimore will easily be the best running back in the NCAA and if he’s able to hit his potential, somewhere around 25 touchdowns and 1800 yards, he’ll give Barkley a run for his money.
He has an established quarterback in Connor Shaw that will draw defenses away from solely focusing on him as well. South Carolina has a tough schedule this year though and he’ll have to perform extremely well in some tough games against LSU, Arkansas, and Georgia.
3. Tyrann Mathieu, CB, Louisiana State University
The ‘Honey Badger’ as he has become known took over the sports world last year with his hard hits and amazingly smart defensive play. The truly scary part about Mathieu? He’s only a sophomore. He’ll anchor an absolutely frightening LSU defense that shut down every team they faced last year in the regular season.
He didn’t particularly put up huge numbers, something he’ll have to change this year if he wants a shot at the Heisman, but his impact on the game is enormous as his presence alone makes quarterbacks think twice about throwing in his direction. He’ll have to compete with the rest of his team for those big interception and tackle numbers, but if he gets them the ‘Honey Badger’ may be bringing a statue back to LSU.