Todd Gurley takes early lead in Heisman race

Gurley (2)

Todd Gurley’s 293-yard, four touchdown all-purpose performance in Georgia’s 45-21 victory over Clemson this past Saturday has vaulted the Bulldogs running back to the top of HeismanPundit’s Heisman Straw Poll released on Tuesday (Sept. 2).

The junior from Tarboro, N.C., collected five first-place nods from the 10-member panel of Heisman voters from around the country. He appeared on every ballot and totaled 23 points, placing him well ahead of Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill, who placed second with 14 points (and two first-place votes). Hill’s 511 yards passing in A&M’s rout of South Carolina led to the sophomore being named on seven ballots.

Preseason straw poll leader Marcus Mariota dropped to third with three first-place votes and 13 points. Oregon’s showdown with Michigan State this coming Saturday will present an early-season test for the Ducks quarterback.

Reigning Heisman winner Jameis Winston dropped to fourth place with five points. Five other players — three of them with the surname Hill — tallied one point each.

Now in its ninth season, HeismanPundit.com’s Heisman Straw Poll is the college football world’s most trusted gauge of Heisman voter sentiment. It has been the most accurate Heisman poll in the country during the past seven seasons, with the final 2012 poll correctly picking the top five finishers and the final 2011 poll picking the top seven. This year’s poll is made up of 10 anonymous Heisman voters from across the country. Each week during the season they will pick three players. Tabulations for the preseason poll are tabulated like a real Heisman ballot, with three points awarded for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote.

Each week’s poll is released on Tuesdays throughout the season at HeismanPundit.com. .

The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Straw Poll, 9/2/2014

Total Points (with first place votes in parentheses)

1. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia — 23 (5)

2. Kenny Hill, QB, Texas A&M — 14 (2)

3. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon — 13 (3)

4. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State — 5

5. (tie) Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska — 1

Tyreek Hill, RB, Oklahoma State — 1

Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA — 1

Jordan Westerkamp, WR, Nebraska — 1

Taysom Hill, QB, BYU  — 1

Number of ballots

Gurley — 10

Kenny Hill  — 7

Mariota — 5

Winston — 3

The rest — 1 each

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About Heismanpundit

Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of Heismanpundit.com, 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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