The 2014 HP All-American team

Now that the season is finally over, it’s time for the latest edition of the very prestigious HP All-American team.

First, the offense:


1st team – Johnny Manziel, So. Texas A&M

2nd team – Jameis Winston, Fr. Florida State

3rd team – Marcus Mariota, So. Oregon

Honorable Mention: Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois; Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville; Bryce Petty, Baylor; Derek Carr, Fresno State.


1st team – Andre Williams, Sr., Boston College; Tre Mason, Jr. Auburn

2nd team – Bishop Sankey, Jr., Washington; Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona

3rd team –  Melvin Gordon, So., Wisconsin; Kapri Bibbs, So, Colorado State

Honorable Mention:  Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska; Carlos Hyde, Ohio State; Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky; Tyler Gaffney, Stanford; Jeremy Hill, LSU


1st team – Brandin Cooks, Jr., Oregon State; Sammy Watkins, Jr., Clemson

2nd team – Devante Adams, So., Fresno State; Mike Evans, So., Texas A&M

3rd team – Antwan Goodley, Jr., Baylor; Paul Richardson, Jr., Colorado

Honorable Mention: Allen Robinson, Penn State; Tyler Lockett, Kansas State; Odell Beckham, LSU; Willie Snead, Ball State; Kelvin Benjamin, FSU; Jace Amaro, Texas Tech


1st team – Eric Ebron, Jr., North Carolina

2nd team – Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jr., Washington

3rd team – C.J. Fiedorowicz, Sr., Iowa

Honorable Mention: David Funchess, Michigan; Nick O’Leary, FSU; Troy Niklas, Notre Dame; Jeff Heuerman, Ohio State.


Per HP tradition, we will not choose individual All-Americans, but rather a single unit for our offensive line honors.

Face it: There are no individual stats to go by. Highlights rarely show what they do. We could go purely off of hearsay, but wouldn’t that be dishonest? What’s more, there are 600 starting offensive linemen in Division One. It’s almost impossible to have seen enough of them to know who is really the best.  So, while other All-American teams choose linemen based almost solely on reputation, we will not.  Instead, we look at a combination of factors, including sacks allowed, rushing offense, tackles for loss allowed, etc., to come up with our All-American unit.

1st team – Arkansas

2nd team – Stanford

3rd team – Notre Dame

Honorable Mention: Florida State; Alabama; Oregon; Toledo; Baylor

Now, the defense:


1st team – Michael Sam, Sr., Missouri; Vic Beasley, Jr., Clemson

2nd team – Jackson Jeffcoat, Sr., Texas; Leonard Williams, So., USC

3rd team – Shilique Calhoun, So., Michigan State; Trevor Reilly, Sr., Utah

Honorable Mention: Kareem Martin, North Carolina; Marcus Smith, Louisville; Scott Crichton, Oregon State; Dee Ford, Auburn; Noah Spence, Ohio State; Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State


1st team – Aaron Donald, Sr., Pittsburgh; Kelcy Quarles, Sr., South Carolina

2nd team – Ra’Shede Hageman, Sr., Minnesota; Tim Jernigan, Jr., Florida State

3rd team – Will Sutton, Sr., Arizona State; Michael Bennett, Jr., Ohio State

Honorable Mention: DaQuan Jones, Penn State; Ego Ferguson, LSU


1st team – Trent Murphy, Sr., Stanford; Anthony Barr, Sr., UCLA

2nd team – Ryan Shazier, Jr., Ohio State; Khalil Mack, Sr., Buffalo

3rd team – Kyle Van Noy, Sr, BYU; Denicos Allen, Sr., Michigan State

Honorable Mention: Shaquil Barrett, Sr., Colorado State; Eddie Lackey, Baylor; Telvin Smith, Florida State; Myles Jack, UCLA; Devon Kennard, USC


1st team – C.J. Mosley, Sr., Alabama; Chris Borland, Sr., Wisconsin

2nd team – Shayne Skov, Sr., Stanford; Lamin Barrow, Sr., LSU

3rd team – Preston Brown, Sr., Louisville; Stephone Anthony, Jr., Clemson

Honorable Mention: AJ Tarpley, Stanford; AJ Johnson, Tennessee; Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut; Dee Dee Lattimore, South Florida


1st team – Darqueze Dennard, Sr., Michigan State; Lamarcus Joyner, Sr., Florida State

2nd team – Justin Gilbert, Sr., Oklahoma State; Jason Verrett, Sr., TCU

3rd team – Vernon Hargreaves, Fr., Florida; Aaron Colvin, Sr., Oklahoma

Honorable Mention: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon; Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech; Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska; Rashaad Reynolds, Oregon State


1st team – Deone Bucannon, Sr., Washington State; Ahmad Dixon, Sr., Baylor

2nd team – Anthony Harris, Jr., Virginia; Jimmy Ward, Sr., Northern Illinois

3rd team – Landon Collins, So., Alabama; Hakeem Smith, Sr., Louisville

Honorable Mention: Alden Darby, Sr., ASU; Craig Loston, LSU; Brock Vereen, Minnesota; Isaiah Lewis, Michigan State; Sean Parker, Washington.


1st team – Ha Ha Clinton Dix, Jr., Alabama; Calvin Pryor, Jr., Louisville

2nd team – Karl Joseph, So., West Virginia; Ed Reynolds, Jr., Stanford

3rd team – Terrance Brooks, Sr., Florida State; Derron Smith, Jr., Fresno State

Honorable Mention: Kurtis Drummond, Michigan State; Dion Bailey, USC; Tra’Mayne Bondurant, Arizona.

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Happy New Year!

Happy new year to everyone out there from everyone here at HP!

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Cool it on the Winston ballot thing

A phony meme has circulated since Jameis Winston won the Heisman this past Saturday.

Namely, that the 115 Heisman voters who left the Florida State freshmen off their ballots are somehow defective people who have it in for the Seminoles quarterback.

Former Heisman winner Ricky Williams sure isn’t happy about it:

Williams is so certain that Winston deserved the honor that he has some doubts about the brains of those who didn’t see it that way.

“When you get a Heisman vote it doesn’t mean you’re intelligent or smart or anything like that,” Williams said with a smile on Monday when asked by HuffPost Live host Josh Zepps about the 115 voters who left Winston off their ballots

Blacksportsonline was also miffed:

“They really should make everyone who left him off the ballot explain themselves.”

Deadspin noted in its lede on Saturday that Winston was left off of 115 ballots, as if it was a particularly newsworthy point.

The problem with raising a stink about Winston being left off of that many ballots is that it’s a completely normal occurrence in Heisman voting. In fact, Winston was left off of fewer ballots than many past Heisman winners.

Barry Sanders, who was a landslide winner of the Heisman after producing one of the greatest seasons in college football history, was left off of 224 ballots in 1988.

Archie Griffin was left off over 200 ballots in 1975. Marcus Allen was left of off over 300 ballots in 1981. So was Herschel Walker in 1982.

RG3 was left off more ballots in 2011.

So, please. Stop complaining about Winston being left off of these ballots. It’s something that happens to every Heisman winner. Not everyone has the same opinion on who’s the most outstanding player in college football.

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Why the Heisman is better than ever

Check out my column from Al-Jazeera America on why the Heisman is better than ever.

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An early Heisman list for 2014


Jameis Winston’s reign as the 2013 Heisman winner is less than 24 hours old, but it’s never too early to start thinking ahead.

Who are the front runners for the 2014 Heisman?

Here’s an early top 10 list based on the information we have now. We think most of these players should be back in 2014. If so, they should enter next fall as serious contenders for the Heisman:

in alphabetical order

Melvin Gordon, Jr., Wisconsin* — With backfield mate James White graduating, Gordon could be set for a monster season in Madison, if he chooses to return for his junior year. He had 1,466 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging eight yards per carry in 2013.

Todd Gurley, Jr., Georgia — When healthy, Gurley might be the best running back in the country. His combination of size and speed are impressive. He rushed for 903 yards and 10 scores and caught 30 passes for five more TDs despite missing three full games and parts of others.

Brett Hundley, Jr., UCLA* — As a sophomore, Hundley had over 3,400 yards of total offense and 31 touchdowns with a very young supporting cast around him. Those players will be a year older and it should result in excellent production for Hundley if he chooses to return.

Myles Jack, So., UCLA — Jack was the Pac-12 freshman of the year on both offense and defense. Heisman voters love throwback players who excel on both sides of the ball — see: Woodson, Charles — and assuming he continues to play both running back and linebacker, he’ll get lots of attention.

Marcus Mariota, Jr., Oregon — Mariota was the Heisman front runner for a large chunk of this season. Losses to Stanford and Arizona knocked him out of the race, but he should be better in 2013. If he can finally get Oregon past Stanford, he’ll probably make a trip to New York.

Nick Marshall, Sr., Auburn — No quarterback in the country improved as much as Marshall did over the course of this season. His 2014 campaign could begin by leading the Tigers to a national championship in January.

Tre Mason, Sr., Auburn* — If Mason chooses to return for another season, he’ll join his teammate as a front runner for 2014. He finished sixth in the Heisman vote this season while rushing for 1,621 yards and 22 scores.

Braxton Miller, Sr., Ohio State* — Miller might’ve won the Heisman this year if an injury hadn’t forced him to miss the better part of three games. Assuming he returns for his senior season, he’ll probably be the early Heisman favorite. He is 24-1 as a starter in the past two seasons.

Bryce Petty, Sr., Baylor — Petty finished seventh in the Heisman vote after throwing for 3,844 yards and 30 touchdowns with just two interceptions while leading Baylor to the Big 12 title. He could have even better numbers as a senior and, assuming Baylor is again a national title contender, he’ll be in the Heisman conversation.

Bishop Sankey, Sr., Washington* — Sankey is very quietly putting together a brilliant rushing career for the Huskies. He’s got 3,401 yards and 35 touchdowns in three seasons and was third in the country this year with 1,775 yards and 18 scores. If he chooses to come back for another season, he should really flourish in Chris Petersen’s system

T.J. Yeldon, Jr., Alabama — Yeldon notched his second-straight 1,000-yard season despite being limited in some games by an ankle injury. With the Tide set to break in a new quarterback, he could become the main weapon for Alabama in 2014.

* – could enter NFL draft

Wait, what about Jameis Winston?

I don’t have Winston on this list because I believe there will never be another two-time winner of the Heisman. Archie Griffin of Ohio State is the only player to do it, way back in 1974-1975. Since then, Ty Detmer, Jason White, Matt Leinart, Tim Tebow, Mark Ingram, Sam Bradford and Johnny Manziel have all failed in their attempts to repeat. The fact that players like Leinart, Tebow and Manziel couldn’t get it done points to how difficult it is to win two trophies. The Heisman electorate is very fickle and, as we saw with Manziel, the punditry tries its best to find reasons not to give away that second Heisman.

Everything has to fall perfectly into place just to win the award once. Winning it twice?

Forget about it.

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Quotes from Jameis Winston, 2013 Heisman Trophy winner

Here are the highlights of Winston at his press conference after winning the 2013 Heisman Trophy:

On winning the Heisman:

“I’m so overwhelmed right now. It feels great to be a part of the family. I can’t explain the feeling I have inside. This is a moment I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

On what he felt when his name was called:

“I was proud. I looked out into the crowd and saw that my mom and dad felt so proud, too. I haven’t seen that look in their eyes for a long time. It comforted me.”

On whether he was nervous he may not win:

“That last commercial break (before the announcement) was rough. I thought I was probably going to win, but you always have that doubt, because anything can happen. After they called my name I wanted to hug the trophy. This is a feeling that I always want to have.”

On what he can learn from Johnny Manziel, the other freshman to win the Heisman

“I will learn from Johnny. We are all evolving.”

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Breaking down the 2013 Heisman vote

photo (49)

This was a very interesting Heisman vote, particularly the 2nd thru 6th spots.

Here is the breakdown by region:

Northeast Pos. Total Points
Jameis Winston 1 339
Andre Williams 2 132
AJ McCarron 3 130
Jordan Lynch 4 88
Johnny Manziel 5 56
Tre Mason 6 44


Mid-Atlantic Pos. Total Points
Jameis Winston 1 366
AJ McCarron 2 112
Andre Williams 3 89
Jordan Lynch 4 80
Tre Mason 5 71
Johnny Manziel 6 63


South Pos. Total Points
Jameis Winston 1 390
AJ McCarron 2 128
Tre Mason 3 106
Johnny Manziel 4 93
Jordan Lynch 5 69
Andre Williams 6 65


Southwest Pos. Total Points
Jameis Winston 1 395
Johnny Manziel 2 105
AJ McCarron 3 104
Jordan Lynch 4 93
Tre Mason 5 91
Andre Williams 6 56


Midwest Pos. Total Points
Jameis Winston 1 353
Jordan Lynch 2 116
AJ McCarron 3 102
Andre Williams 4 72
Tre Mason 5 57
Johnny Manziel 6 50


Far West Pos. Total Points
Jameis Winston 1 362
AJ McCarron 2 128
Jordan Lynch 3 112
Andre Williams 4 56
Johnny Manziel 5 54
Tre Mason 8 35

Note: Ka’Deem Carey of Arizona finished sixth in the Far West.

Percentage of tabulated ballots on which the top 6 were named:

Winston — 87%
McCarron — 43%
Lynch — 37%
Williams — 32%
Manziel — 29%
Mason — 25%

Percentage of ballots received by week:

Week 1 — 1%
Week 2 — 18%*
Week 3 — 81%

* — represents all ballots received before games started on Dec. 7, 2013.

Number of ballots received and tabulated — 900 of 928 (97%)

Number of players receiving votes, by place:

First — 15 players
Second — 24
Third — 41
Total players receiving votes — 47
(39 received votes in 2012)

  • Winston is the second freshman to win the Heisman
  • He is the 14th Heisman winner to exceed 2,000 total points
  • He received 668 first place votes, which is 9th all time.
  • Winston had the 7th largest margin of victory at 1,501 points.
  • He received 82% of the total possible points based on ballots received.
  • He is the 19th winner from an undefeated team (regular season).
  • At 19 years, 342 days, he is the youngest player to win the Heisman.

That’s all for tonight. We’ll have more breakdown of the vote tomorrow.

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