Andrew Luck is a trendy pick to win the Heisman Trophy this season, and it is easy to see why. The nation’s best quarterback last year is back for one more season at Stanford and is expected to be the catalyst that ensures Stanford stays in the national picture conversation all season long. Luck is not the only Heisman finalist back this season though.
Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore is back to lead the Broncos in to the Mountain West Conference and Oregon running back LaMichael James will once again be one of the leaders of the up-tempo Ducks offense. But who are some of the other Heisman candidates this season, at least in the minds of the joltleft.com college football round table?
We have a couple names that keep popping up.
Andrew Luck (Stanford), Kellen Moore (Boise State), and LaMichael James (Oregon) were Heisman Trophy finalists last season, and many expect they will make a return trip to New York this December. Two-part question. Do you agree they make the return trip? Who joins them?
Rich Kurtzman, Colorado State Rams Examiner: Kellen Moore will almost certainly return, and if he enjoys another solid season, he will be much deserving of the trip. Likewise, Luck and James will join him in New York, as long as their teams can be successful in the extremely deep and difficult Pac 12. Landry Jones of OU could join them, along with Marcus Lattimore of South Carolina.
Stephen Francis, Dallas Sports Examiner: All three have a great shot at making a return trip. Kellen Moore, with the upgrade in conference competition, will likely garner even more national respect and make the trip a second time. Luck may be left behind this time. While Stanford does look good again this year, a fall back to the middle of the pack could be in order for them. LaMichael James is the real deal and will find himself in NYC again.
As far as who joins them, look for Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones to be there. His favorite weapon is back again this year and most of his offensive line returns as well. There’s no reason he will get counted out when the time comes.
Troy Hyde, Iowa Hawkeyes Examiner: Barring any bad luck or injuries to these three guys, they most likely will return to New York this season. Injuries happen and the only way these three do not have the type of year required to be in the Heisman race is by an injury. Joining them in New York could be tricky though. Sometimes the committee only takes three but let’s just say two others join them. If Alabama is as good as advertised then you have to believe Trent Richardson ends up in New York. He has all the tools to lead the Crimson Tide back to the title game and if they are in the title game then he is a sure thing for the Heisman discussion. For my fifth guy I will take a position that is not represented and go with wide receiver. I think Oklahoma is a better team but I think Oklahoma State has the better wide receiver. I think Justin Blackmon ends up a Heisman finalist if the Cowboys maintain a good record and stay in the Big 12 mix. Other possible candidates to end up in New York include Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill, Wisconsin’s Montee Ball, South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore and Oklahoma’s Landry Jones.
Schimri Yoyo, Big East Examiner: I think Luck and Moore will be there but I think they’ll be joined by Alabama’s Trent Richardson and South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore.
Sean Jackson, Ohio State Buckeyes Examiner: Barring injury, these three will make the return trip. Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones and Alabama running back Trent Richardson may join them.
Kevin, National College Football Examiner: I really like running backs and there are two in the SEC I feel have a decent shot at receiving an invitation to join Luck, Moore and James in New York. Alabama’s Trent Richardson is a monster of a running back and he should see increased production with Mark Ingram moving on and with some uncertainty in the passing game in Tuscaloosa. Sophomore Marcus Lattimore may be my favorite running back in the nation, though I’m curious to see what his sophomore season will be like. If South Carolina can live up to some rare preseason expectations for the program, then I believe it will be because Lattimore will not be a victim of a sophomore slump.
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