We are closing in on 100 days left until the beginning of the college football season on September 5. If you don’t believe me on that, you can simply find out how far we are away from week one here:
Until then, here is a (somewhat) early breakdown of the top candidates for the sport’s highest honor, the Heisman Trophy:
5. Deshaun Watson (QB, Clemson)
Watson returns for his sophomore season after impressing with his running and throwing in somewhat limited action last season. He missed three games in October last year with a broken bone in his hand, but he came back and played the last eight games of the season. Also, he led the Tigers to a 35-17 defeat of in-state foe South Carolina, all the while playing with a torn ACL (!). With returning talent at most of Clemson’s offensive skill positions, Watson has the potential to light up Death Valley in 2015.
4. Ezekiel Elliott (RB, Ohio State)
The hard-running power back for the Buckeyes comes back off of last year’s campaign in which he produced over 2,000 yards from scrimmage. Four out of the five projected starters on the Buckeyes’ offensive line are upperclassmen, and all five linemen started on last year’s championship squad. Also, the Bucks lost the best wide receiver off of last year’s team, Devin Smith. Crop top or not, look for Elliott to be in New York this December.
3. Dak Prescott (QB, Mississippi State)
With the returns of top wide receiver De’Runnya Wilson and star running back Josh Robinson, look for Prescott to expand on last year’s breakout season in which he threw for nearly 3,500 yards and ran for almost another thousand. Whether the defenses in the SEC West stand up to him or not remains to be seen, but I anticipate that Prescott will do even better than last year in unleashing a full Dak Attack on the college football world.
2. Trevone Boykin (QB, TCU)
Okay, so you probably know what is coming by this point, but let’s talk about Boykin first. He threw for 3,901 yards and ran for another 700 in last year’s Playoff-worthy campaign that ended in a 42-3 drubbing of Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl. With the return of top wide receivers Josh Doctson, Kolby Listenbee, and Deante’ Gray, as well as all (all!) of TCU’s line returning together, Boykin will rip it up in 2015. Just not as much as the #1 player on the list, however…
1. Leonard Fournette (RB, LSU)
Fournette comes back to Baton Rouge after rushing for 1,000 yards last year and averaging 5.5 yards per carry in doing so. The question mark here is that LSU has five all-new starters at offensive line and while they have looked solid in spring practice, it remains to be seen whether they can perform in the SEC. However, with the Baton Rouge Bears’ quarterback
disaster situation being what it is, Fournette will get a lot of carries this year. And I think he’ll win the Heisman Trophy.