But What About...? In this wide-open Heisman race Carson Palmer is far from a unanimous choice. Four more SI Heisman voters reveal how they'll cast their ballots.

December 09, 2002

LARRY JOHNSON
Tailback, Penn State, Sr.

When everyone was calling for a Heisman candidate to break from
the pack, Johnson did just that. Three times in the space of five
games he broke his school's single-game rushing mark, with 257
yards against Northwestern, 279 against Illinois and 327 against
Indiana. His 2,015 yards on 251 carries made him the ninth back
in NCAA history to rush for more than 2,000 yards, and his 8.02
yards per carry is an NCAA record. Critics scoff at his
sub-100-yard days in Penn State's three losses, but Johnson's
numbers are simply too good to ignore. --Mark Mravic

BRAD BANKS
Quarterback, Iowa, Sr.

Banks is why Iowa is the Big Ten co-champ and a team nobody
wants to meet in a bowl. The 6'1" 200-pounder was this year's
most electrifying player, completing 60.1% of his passes for
2,369 yards and 25 TDs with just four interceptions, and rushing
for 387 yards and five TDs. His cannon arm and quick feet made
him the Michael Vick of college football in 2002. Banks wasn't
on national TV as much as the other candidates, and the Hawkeyes
haven't played since Nov. 16, but lack of exposure and short
attention spans shouldn't deny him the Heisman. --B.J. Schecter

MAURICE CLARETT
Tailback, Ohio State, Fr.

When it comes to Heisman voting, I'm a sucker for a guy whose
performance under pressure is the difference between winning and
losing. Without Clarett the Buckeyes would not be going to the
Fiesta Bowl. He rushed for 230 yards in a victory over Washington
State, and in the win over Michigan he came back from a shoulder
injury and transformed Ohio State's offense. Never mind that
Clarett had only 1,190 rushing yards. Statistics lie. With him
Ohio State is a Corvette; without him, a Cavalier. No freshman
has won the Heisman, but Clarett gets my vote. --Tim Layden

WILLIS McGAHEE
Tailback, Miami, Soph.

McGahee's Heisman platform is as solid as concrete. The
outstanding player on the nation's best team, he has set six
single-season Miami records, including those for TDs (21),
rushing yards (1,481) and 100-yard games (nine). More important,
McGahee was at his best in big games, averaging 153 yards against
Florida, Florida State, Tennessee and Pitt. His 68-yard screen
play set up Miami's final TD in a one-point win over Florida
State, and his 69-yard run against Pitt tied that game. If
superiority in hard-fought wins isn't the most compelling
credential, what is? --Kelley King

COLOR PHOTO: DAMIAN STROHMEYER (JOHNSON) COLOR PHOTO: AL TIELEMANS (2) COLOR PHOTO: DAVID BERGMAN (CLARETT) COLOR PHOTO: AL TIELEMANS (2)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)