It’s far too early for Heisman Trophy lists. The last three winners – Cam Newton, RG3, and Johnny Manziel – were virtual unknowns in early September the year they won. None could sniff a September Heisman watch list, and none were given high odds by Las Vegas. Newton, who was at Florida but left, was in his first full year as a starter; RG3 was coming off a strong junior year but his Baylor Bears were only 7-6; Manziel barely won the starting job in August.
That being said, let’s look at how some of the expected 2013 Heisman contenders who have played a game so far, fared:
Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville QB: 23-29, 355 yards, 5 TDs, one INT. Sure, he carved up an Ohio defense that ranked 56th against the pass last season, but expect these numbers weekly against inferior competition.
TJ Yeldon, Alabama RB: 75 rush yards, 1 TD. Three new offensive line starters might mean a slow first month.
AJ McCarron, Alabama QB: 110 yards passing, 1 TD, 1 INT. Didn’t look comfortable in the pocket vs. Virginia Tech, sacked four times.
Todd Gurley, Georgia RB: 154 yards, 2 TDs. He’s a contender for the Baddest Player in College Football.
Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina, DE: Three tackles.
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: 94 yards passing, 3 TDs.
Brett Hundley, UCLA, QB: 22-33, 274 yards, 2 TDs; 63 yards rushing 2 TDs.
Tajh Boyd, Clemson QB: 270 yards passing, 3 TDs; 42 rush yards, 2 TDs
Braxton Miller, Ohio State QB: 178 rush yards, 2 TDs, one INT; 77 rush yards. His first pass of the year was a TD.
Marcus Mariota, Oregon QB: 234 yards, 1 TD; 113 rush yards, 2 TDs
Duke Johnson, Miami, RB: 19-186, 1 TD. Here’s your sleeper. If he goes off and the Hurricanes beat the Gators Saturday …
Love ya, but sorry, it just isn’t happening: Marqise Lee (USC), Sammy Watkins (Clemson), De’Anthony Thomas (Oregon).
Guys who have yet to take the field: Jameis Winston (FSU), Lache Seastrunk (Baylor).