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Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

An early look at the preseason Heisman hopefuls (15 items)

By , For the Deseret News

July 29, 2014

The college football season is only a month away and the Heisman hype has already begun. A good campaign could launch an up-and-comer into the national spotlight, but at the end of the day winning is all that matters. Only players from successful teams have a real chance of taking home the biggest prize an individual can win in the college game. After all, one of the big reasons why Jameis Winston started to get some attention was because of the great start by Florida State in 2013.

While Winston is poised to add another Heisman to his trophy case, there will be plenty of competition standing in his way.

Here is an early look at the leading candidates for the 2014 Heisman Trophy

1 of 15. Bryce Petty, 6-3, 230, senior, quarterback, Baylor:

After a dominant junior year, Petty is an early frontrunner for the award. In 2013, he led the Bears to an 11-2 record and a trip to the BCS while completing 62 percent of his passes for 4,200 yards and 32 touchdowns with just three interceptions. He also did some damage with his legs with 209 yards and 14 touchdowns.

2 of 15. Sean Mannion, 6-5, 207, senior, quarterback, Oregon State:

Like Petty, Mannion had a huge junior year to put his name at the top of the list. In 2013, Mannion led the Beavers to a 7-6 record and a bowl win over the Boise State Broncos. Along the way, he completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 4,662 yards and 37 touchdowns.

3 of 15. T.J. Yeldon, 6-2, 218, junior, running back, Alabama:

After two straight 1,000-yard seasons on the ground, Yeldon is ready to take another step forward. In 2013, he carried the ball 207 times for 1,235 (six yards per carry) and 14 touchdowns. He was also a weapon in the passing game with 20 catches for 183 yards.

4 of 15. Ty Montgomery, 6-2, 215, senior, wide receiver, Stanford:

After a great junior season where Montgomery scored 14 total touchdowns, he will be looking to finish his career with a bang. What better way to go out than with a the Heisman. In 2013, he caught 61 passes for 958 yards and 10 touchdowns to go along with 13 carries for 159 yards and two more scores. He was also a star in the return game with a 30.3 yard average and two touchdowns on 36 kick returns.

5 of 15. Taysom Hill, 6-2, 221, junior, quarterback, BYU:

After he showed the ability to be one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation, Hill should have the experience to propel himself into the national limelight. In 2013, he completed 53.9 percent of his passes for 2,938 yards and 19 touchdowns to go along with 1,344 yards and 10 scores on the ground.

1. utcyclist
Draper, UT,
July 29, 2014

You put Taysom Hill on this list? That's plain crazy and blatant pandering to the local audience. Chucky Keaton maybe gets a dark horse mention but that's it from our great state. Enjoy the home cooking.

2. Rockwell
Baltimore, MD,
July 29, 2014

utcyclist

Despite your uninformed opinion, Taysom is a legitimate Heisman candidate.

He probably won't win it, but anybody who claims that he doesn't belong on the list either doesn't know much about college football, or is just demonstrating their BYU hatred.

3. souptwins
Lindon, UT,
July 29, 2014

Have you looked at the watch lists Hill is on from the national media? No hometown pandering necessary. He gets the attention no matter what the media market. He's certainly far from a front-runner, but deserves inclusion on the list. If he has a great season, he'll get even more consideration his Sr. year.

4. Mormon Ute
Kaysville, UT,
July 29, 2014

2 players from Utah on the list? Bleacher Report does have the both listed as honorable mentions, but they are far from the top 15 on any of the national watch lists. I'd say this report is a little bit optimistic putting them in the top 15 contending for the Heisman.

It is good to see 5 Pac 12 players on this list and you see even more on many of the national lists. At least 3 Pac 12 QB's show up on most lists. It is great to see the strength of the Pac 12 validated and it will be fun to have a couple of Heisman candidates play in Salt Lake this year. Of course that also illustrates the tough task ahead of the Utes to gain respectability in the Pac 12. Go Utes!!

5. Thriller
Saint George, UT,
July 29, 2014

One of these things is not like the others...