The recruits from the high school recruiting class of 2014 have signed their letters of intent.
Not all of them are going to live up to their lofty recruiting rankings this season. Some will take time to adjust to the rigors of college life and go on to redshirt. Some will find ways to contribute as backups or on special teams. Others will be pressed into action due to injuries. Only a select few will become stars this fall.
Here at HeismanPundit we are always on the lookout for future Heisman candidates, so it’s a tradition of ours to try to pick out the players from each recruiting class who best fit that bill. It’s an inexact science, but in 2007, we had a guy named Cameron Newton on our list. Here are our picks from 2008, 2009, 2010 , 2011, 2012 and 2013.
It’s important to remember that not every recruiting class will produce a Heisman winner, or even a Heisman candidate. Johnny Manziel was from the class of 2011, while Robert Griffin and Mark Ingram were from the class of 2008. Cam Newton was in the high school class of 2007. The classes of 2009 and 2010 were somewhat devoid of serious candidates. In other words, it’s possible that Heisman glory passes over this group.
Selecting the candidates is not as simple as checking off some 5-star players from the recruiting sites.
First off, we narrow the list down to quarterbacks, running backs and multi-purpose athletes. No matter what anyone says, you can forget about tight ends, linebackers or linemen winning the trophy.
Second, we assess the abilities of the players in question. Do their skills translate to the next level? How quickly will they make an impact? Do they have the physical measurables and the intangibles needed to succeed?
Third, how well does the player fit into the system in which he will be playing? Does his team’s system produce the numbers needed to win a Heisman?
Let’s see what’s in store for this year’s class, along with a few of their highlights. Keep these guys on your radar and expect at least one of them to make a strong run at the Heisman within the next four years. Here they are (in no particular order):