With the third week of the 2014 season now in the books, the Heisman race is starting to take shape.
However, we’ve seen some late-breaking runs at the Heisman in recent years, which means there could be some candidacies out there that are still in the percolating stage.
Here are a four to keep an eye on:
James Conner, So., RB, Pittsburgh — Conner’s 544 rushing yards are the most in the opening three games of a season in Pitt history. The prior mark was held by Tony Dorsett, who had 487 yards in the first three games of his 1973 freshman season. Is the 6-2, 250-pound Conner the next great Pitt tailback? If he’s still churning out yardage at or near his current clip (181 yards per game) by mid-season, the answer to that question will be ‘yes’.
D.J. Foster, Jr., RB, Arizona State – Foster has 510 yards and five rushing touchdowns in the first three games and he’s averaging a whopping 9.4 yards per carry. He also has 11 catches for 139 yards and a score. Big games against UCLA, USC and Stanford in consecutive weeks could put him on the Heisman map.
Gunner Kiel, So., QB, Cincinnati – You can’t get much better than Kiel’s debut against Toledo. The Notre Dame transfer threw for 418 yards and six touchdowns (with no interceptions) and opened with a passer rating of 215.97. Kiel is a big-time talent who has the potential to put together a monster season for the Bearcats.
Dak Prescott, Jr., QB, Mississippi State – Recent years have shown us that to compete for the Heisman as a quarterback, you pretty much have to put up over 4,000 yards of offense and at least 40 combined touchdowns. After three games, Prescott is on pace for 3,876 and 44 scores, so he’s in that wheelhouse. It helps, too, that the Bulldogs might have their best team in quite a while.
Are there any redshirt freshmen on the horizon with a chance to emerge the same way Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston did in recent years? Doesn’t look like it at this point.