The 2013 college football season is closer than you think. In no time, September will be here and the college football will be back. There is no question that the spotlight will once again be on Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, winner of the 2012 Heisman Trophy, becoming the first ever freshman to do so. He also lead his team to an 11-2 record and a win in the AT&T Cotton Bowl over the Oklahoma Sooners. He is a favorite to repeat as the Heisman winner, which would make him the first two-time winner since Ohio State’s Archie Griffin won his junior and senior seasons in 1974 and 1975. Allow me to be the first to introduce the preseason Heisman Trophy favorites, also known as those who will attempt to dethrone Johnny Football.
5. Blake Bell, Oklahoma QB, R-Jr.
The successor to Landry Jones, Bell reminds many of Cam Newton in his stature and the way he plays. Known as the “BellDozer”, he stands at 6-6 and weighs 263 pounds. Last season, the Sooners had a specialized red-zone package for Bell. Any time that Oklahoma was within ten yards of the end zone, Bell would be given the ball to run it up to gut and punch it in for a touchdown. This year, as the starter, Bell will fulfill the dual-threat role, and is expected to put up Newton like stats, which should earn him at least consideration for the Heisman.
4. Jeff Driskel, Florida QB, Jr.
After what was set out to be a failure of a season, succeeding who may have been the worst quarterback to ever put on a Gator uniform, Driskel gave the Florida fans an exciting season. He nearly led Florida to the national championship, but a late season loss to the Georgia Bulldogs hurt their chances. Driskel reminds me of another quarterback who donned the orange and blue, but with much better fundamentals. Driskel truly has the skill set and build to be the next Tebow for the Gators, at 6-4, 237 lbs. Expect him to put up remarkable numbers once again this season as he tries to lead Florida to the promised land this upcoming season.
3. AJ McCarron, Alabama QB, R-Sr.
Surprisingly coming back for his senior season, McCarron was a favorite to win the Heisman the past two seasons. He led the Crimson Tide to two national titles as a starter, and his team also won the title his true freshman year, when he was redshirtted and Greg McElroy was the starter. Expected to be a top draft prospect if he had entered the 2013 NFL Draft, McCarron showed his loyalty to ‘Bama and stayed to finish out his college career with a final hurrah. If he shows numbers like he did last season, not only could he be holding the Heisman, he may be holding his fourth BCS National Championship.
2. Braxton Miller, Ohio State QB, Jr.
Many argued that Miller was the most deserving of the Heisman last year. Analysts say that if Ohio State had not been under penalization, Miller would have won the Heisman and the Buckeyes would have won the national championship. This all could have been true, but we will never know. But what we do know now is that he will get his fair shot at both. Throwing for a little more than 2000 yards last season, Miller looks to get his fair shot at the Heisman during his junior season.
1. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M QB, R-So.
It’s without question the freshman phenom is the front runner to repeat as the winner of the prestigious Heisman Trophy. It seems that with all the time that teams such as Alabama and Oklahoma were given, teams that played the freshman late in the season and had time to look at film of him, they still were not able to find a way to stop him. On his road to becoming a household name, Johnny Football became the fourth quarterback to run and pass for 20 touchdowns each, the first three being Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, and Colin Kaepernick, respectively. In what is expected to be his final college season as he becomes eligible for the NFL at season’s end, Manziel is expected to be collecting major hardware, and he won’t be satisfied with just the Heisman.
Follow us on Twitter: @BigPlayTweets