Heisman Hopefuls

October 16, 2005

THEY WERE the favorites going into the season, and nothing has happened to suggest that Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart and Vince Young won't be in New York City when the Heisman Trophy is handed out on Dec. 10. But here are five other players who could be making the trip.

BRADY QUINN QB Notre Dame

He has thrived under new coach Charlie Weis's tutelage, passing for 50% more yards per game (324.2) than he did in 2004 and throwing for 13 touchdowns, just four fewer than he had last season. He has a chance to move the Heisman needle significantly this Saturday against No. 1 USC and on Nov. 5 against Tennessee.

MARCUS VICK QB Virginia Tech

He lacks the flashy stats (173.8 passing yards per game, 10 touchdowns, two interceptions), but he'll attract votes if he can lead the third-ranked Hokies to the national title game.

BRODIE CROYLE QB Alabama

He vaulted into the race with a three-touchdown game in a 31-3 rout of Florida on Oct. 1. He still has high-profile matchups against Tennessee, LSU and Auburn to make his case, but working against him is a 'Bama defense that's so good that Croyle doesn't have to post Heisman-type stats.

A.J. HAWK LB Ohio State

Hawk (left) has been the nation's best defender (49 tackles, 3 1/2 sacks, one interception), but he faces long odds. Only one defensive player--Michigan corner Charles Woodson in '97--has taken home the trophy.

BRIAN CALHOUN RB Wisconsin

This 5'10", 194-pound transfer from Colorado ranks fifth in the nation in rushing (141.5 yards per game). His performance in a 23-20 victory over Michigan, in which he racked up 214 total yards, was one of the year's guttiest.

PHOTOJOHN BIEVER

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