In this day and age, it’s tough to look too far ahead–you never really know who’s going to stay in school. But here’s an early look at the 2006 race, assuming everyone who can go pro will go pro.
1. Adrian Peterson, OU–He’ll have it all by then: a great resume, some salt between his toes and a more experienced quarterback to keep the heat off him.
2. Chris Leak, Florida–If he doesn’t win it this year (2005), he’ll make a big run for it the following year.
3. Brady Quinn, Notre Dame–A senior Notre Dame quarterback is always a prime candidate. If he engineers a return to glory, so much the better.
4. Chad Henne, Michigan–He’ll be a great quarterback by his junior season and his team could follow suit.
5. Kyle Wright, Miami–If he has a proficient year in 2005, he’ll set himself up nicely for a 2006 run.
6. Ted Ginn, Ohio State–Mr. Excitement will be bigger and stronger–and probably a little slower–but he’ll still be hard to contain.
7. John David Booty, USC–The USC quarterback is now a staple of the Heisman diet.
8. Drew Tate, Iowa–Will be in his third year of terrorizing the Big 10.
9. Marshawn Lynch, Cal––Will be coming off a 1,500-plus-yard season as a sophomore.
As you can see, six of the nine traditional Heisman powers are represented. In other words, it’s a pretty safe bet to figure that one of these guys will win it in 2006.
We expect the following Heisman candidates who are juniors to go pro after the 2005 season: