The 2013 Heisman: An early look

A whole half a day has passed since the 2012 Heisman was awarded.

Enough relaxing. Time to start thinking about 2013.

What players have the best chance to actually win the Heisman next fall?

It’s a long way off, but here’s an early look:

Braxton Miller, Ohio State — This year’s fifth-place finisher in the Heisman vote is the front runner for 2013. He plays for a traditional power coming off an undefeated season and he should explode for big numbers in his second year in Urban Meyer’s offense.

Marcus Mariota, Oregon — The best freshman quarterback this side of College Station should once again thrive in the Quack Attack. With the Ducks loaded for another title run, he should figure prominently in the Heisman discussion.

Aaron Murray, Georgia — If he comes back for another year, he’ll own every conceivable SEC passing record. He had the Bulldogs on the brink of the national title game this season and he’ll command another loaded offense in 2013.

Marqise Lee, USC — The Biletnikoff winner placed fourth in this year’s Heisman vote and he’ll be the all-purpose challenger next season. He’ll have to adjust well to USC’s new quarterback if he is to be a factor in the race.

AJ McCarron, Alabama — He could be coming off his second-straight national title and a season in which he led the nation in passing efficiency. Voters love quarterbacks with that kind of career resume and if he caps it with a superlative senior campaign, he’ll be in the mix.

Tajh Boyd, Clemson — Assuming Boyd returns, you have to expect he’ll have another productive season in Chad Morris’s offense, especially with talents like Sammy Watkins to throw to.

Brett Hundley, UCLA — He had the best freshman season in UCLA history and, if he improves as a sophomore, he could make a run at the trophy.

Blake Bell, Oklahoma — The “Belldozer” will go mainstream in 2013. Just imagine a bunch of passing touchdowns being added to his impressive rushing totals — 24 scores the last two seasons — and it’s no wonder he makes this list.

Others to Watch: TJ Yeldon, Alabama; Eddie Lacy, Alabama; Todd Gurley, Georgia; Jeff Driskel, Florida; Duke Johnson, Miami; Devin Gardner, Michigan; Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska; Everett Golson, Notre Dame; Kevin Hogan, Stanford; David Ash, Texas; De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon; Taylor Martinez, Nebraska

Wait, are you crazy? What about Johnny Manziel?

Read this to understand why he’s not on the list.

What about defense? Didn’t Manti Te’o prove pure defenders have a shot at winning?

Indeed he did. But that doesn’t mean defenders still aren’t at a huge disadvantage when it comes to the Heisman race. That all said, if any defensive player has a chance to win it next season, it’s Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina, who finished sixth in this year’s race.

Of course, this is a very preliminary list. Some players will go pro. Some might be declared ineligible. Others could get in trouble. When spring ball wraps up, we’ll have a much better idea of who will challenge for the 2013 Heisman Trophy.

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About Heismanpundit

Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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10 Responses to The 2013 Heisman: An early look

  1. Tommie D. December 9, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    K. Carey was the leading rusher in the country and is not mentioned. Usual bias.

    • David December 23, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

      Agreed. He had an outstanding season and should be even better next year.

    • Jack January 15, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

      Sorry, but your guy plays for Arizona. When they’re relevant, come back.

  2. Garner December 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    I can’t imagine TJ Yeldon having a snowball’s chance next year. Alabama’s offense is never going to blow you away with stats – any Tide player’s chance relies on the perception of carrying a national superpower. Unlike Ingram and a very unspectacular McElroy, the workload is probably too distributed to win it for McCarron or Lacy and certainly too distributed to get it for Yeldon.

    Even though it’s an entirely different offense, it’s pretty much the same circumstance that killed the hopes of Mariota / Barner / D’AT this year.

    • Josh December 9, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

      Tell that to Mark Ingram….

  3. J Brunstetter December 9, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    Nice list but you are missing Teddy Bridgewater. Any credible list would have him in the top 10, or at least above most of your “others to watch”.

  4. Guest January 15, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    Lacy will have a hard time winning the heisman from the NFL…..

  5. Jack January 15, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    Uh, OK, I get why you don’t think Manziel will win again…but to not even put him on the watchlist? Especially with some of the jokers on here.

    Taylor Martinez…really? Has he learned to throw farther than 10 yards?
    ANYONE from Nebraska…really?
    Everett Golson… 25% of Johnny Football
    Anyone from the Big Ten…because the conference is a joke. Any major conference that ADDS Rutgers shouldn’t be taken seriously.

    Bridgewater should be on here, too.

  6. guest January 26, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    you forgot teddy Bridgewater. He was recruited as a dual threat but louisville turned him in two a player that uses his feet to buy time. any list that doesnt have him in the top 5 is a joke. he had an amaizing performance in the sugar bowl against a top 5 defense. also, all you ohio state fans need to shut up about braxton miller. his numbers just dont compare to any other player in this heisman conversation. i will admit he is good but just not heisman good. if there had been one close game that ohio state played that the calls went the other way for once, and ohio state had lost, braxton miller wouldnt even be in the conversation.


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