HEISMAN WATCH

Sixteen players—some considered shoo-ins for a nomination; others, not so much—and just one little bronze statue.... Here's how SI sees the field
August 18, 2014

FRONT-RUNNERS

NAME RECOGNITION, EYE-POPPING NUMBERS AND MAJOR EXPOSURE—THESE ARE THE IDEAL INGREDIENTS

QB

MARCUS MARIOTA

Oregon, RS junior

3,665 pass yds., 31 TDs; 715 rush yds., 9 TDs

The catalyst of a rapid-fire offense will surely contend for the trophy if the Ducks handle their business in the Pac-12.

QB

BRETT HUNDLEY

UCLA, RS junior

3,071 pass yds., 24 TDs; 748 rush yds., 11 TDs

Hundley is well-practiced, entering his third season as a starter, and he has plenty of big-time matchups (Texas, Oregon, Stanford) on the schedule.

RB

TODD GURLEY

Georgia, junior

989 rush yds., 10 TDs; 441 receiving yds., 6 TDs*

He might've joined the 2013 finalists in NYC if not for a September ankle sprain. With the Dawgs breaking in a new QB, this is Gurley's time to shine.

QB

BRAXTON MILLER

Ohio State, senior

2,094 pass yds., 24 TDs; 1,068 rush yds., 12 TDs*

The two-time Big Ten offensive player of the year has 26 wins as a starter and could break the school record of 36. He just needs to stay healthy.

QB

JAMEIS WINSTON

Fla. State, RS sophomore

4,057 pass yds., 40 TDs; 219 rush yds., 4 TDs

Ohio State RB Archie Griffin is the only owner of Heisman bookends (1974 and '75), but with a loaded squad and a soft schedule, Winston could join him.

WORKS IN PROGRESS

THEY GOT THEIR FEET IN THE DOOR LAST SEASON. NOW THEY'RE POISED TO BUST IT OPEN

WR

ANTWAN GOODLEY

Baylor, RS senior

71 receptions, 1,339 yds., 13 TDs

Having played 37 career games already, he should again be QB Bryce Petty's top target in an offense that ranked No. 1 in the FBS last year.

RB

AMEER ABDULLAH

Nebraska, senior

1,690 rush yds., 9 TDs; 232 receiving yds., 2 TDs

The 5'9", 195-pound tailback hit the 100-yard mark 11 times last season, and his rushing total was the highest for a Cornhusker in 16 seasons.

QB

TREVOR KNIGHT

Oklahoma, RS sophomore

819 pass yds., 9 TDs; 445 rush yds., 2 TDs*

His stock skyrocketed with a win over Alabama in last year's Sugar Bowl. If the Sooners contend in the Big 12, it will be because this dual threat had a big year.

QB

NICK MARSHALL

Auburn, senior

1,976 pass yds., 14 TDs; 1,068 rush yds., 12 TDs*

The first-year starter blew through SEC D's with his feet in 2013. The Tigers want him to throw more in '14, which could make him a Trophy-worthy talent.

RB

JEREMY LANGFORD

Michigan State, RS senior

1,422 rush yds., 18 TDs; 157 receiving yds., 1 TD

The 6'1" 208-pounder ran for 100 yards in a school-record eight straight games last year, so you can bet he'll be showcased in Sparty's attack this fall.

DARK HORSES

DON'T BE SHOCKED IF—WITH THE RIGHT STATS AND STREAKS—THESE GUYS SNEAK INTO THE CONVERSATION

QB

DAK PRESCOTT

Mississippi State, RS junior

1,940 pass yds., 10 TDs; 829 rush yds., 13 TDs*

Prescott started only seven games last year, but the fleet-footed runner returns with a veteran supporting cast in Starkville.

RB

LEONARD FOURNETTE

LSU, freshman

1,792 rushing yds., 16 TDs; 745 receiving yds., 6 TDs†

The hype surrounding this 19-year-old is palpable in Baton Rouge. The 6'1", 225-pound back could be the next freshman to hoist the Heisman.

WR

AMARI COOPER

Alabama, junior

45 receptions for 736 yds., 4 TDs*

While the Tide's ground game gets most of the attention, Cooper will be the most lethal edge weapon in new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin's game plans.

QB

MATY MAUK

Missouri, RS sophomore

1,071 pass yds., 11 TDs; 229 rush yds., 1 TD*

He came on late in 2013 and looked like a seasoned vet during a surprise run to the Cotton Bowl. He's one of the few SEC passers with experience.

RB

LB

MYLES JACK

UCLA, sophomore

267 rush yds., 7 TDs; 76 tackles, 7 TFLs, 2 INTs

Only one defensive player (Charles Woodson, 1997) has won the Heisman, but this double threat has a shot if the Bruins take the Pac-12.

*Did not play full 2013 season

†High school stats

PHOTOJONATHAN FERREY/GETTY IMAGES (MARIOTA) PHOTOJOHN BAZEMORE/AP (GURLEY) PHOTOSTEPHEN M. DOWELL/ORLANDO SENTINEL/MCT/LANDOV (WINSTON) PHOTOMANNY FLORES/CAL SPORT MEDIA (GOODLEY) PHOTONATI HARNIK/AP (ABDULLAH) PHOTODAVID E. KLUTHO/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (MARSHALL) PHOTOKEVIN C. COX/GETTY IMAGES (PRESCOTT) PHOTODAVID EULITT FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (MAUK) PHOTOCHARLES BAUS/CSM/LANDOV (JACK) PHOTO FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS

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)