It’s never to early to look ahead to next year’s Heisman race. We’re already starting to see some really exciting young players emerge who could turn into serious challengers next season.
Here are 15 players to keep an eye out for in 2015 (in no particular order)*:
DeShaun Watson, Clemson — The true freshman mega-talent is already blossoming in Chad Morris’s offense.
Derrick Henry, Alabama — With TJ Yeldon likely going pro, Henry should get the bulk of the carries in Bama’s offense.
Trevor Knight, Oklahoma — Knight will be a high-profile quarterback coming off a good season for a traditional power.
Samaje Perine, Oklahoma — He could end up as the best freshman back at OU since Adrian Peterson.
Jared Goff, California — Don’t look now, but the Cal sophomore is on pace for 4,000 passing yards and 51 touchdowns.
Gunner Kiel, Cincinnati — Don’t look now, but the Cincinnati sophomore is on pace for 4,100 yards and 56 touchdowns.
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State — Prescott could be a Heisman finalist this season, which would make him one of the front runners next year.
Kenny Hill, Texas A&M — He’ll be coming off a majestic sophomore year and the Aggies should be preseason top 3.
Everett Golson, Notre Dame — A Notre Dame quarterback coming off a great season is almost always the leading front runner for the Heisman.
Jacoby Brissett, NC State — The Florida transfer is off to a great start and showed a lot of moxie in nearly knocking off FSU.
James Conner, Pittsburgh — Conner looks like the next great Pitt running back. He’s having a massive sophomore year to set up a serious run next season.
Alex Collins, Arkansas — Collins is no worse than the third-best back in the SEC right now. He could be the best next year.
Taysom Hill, BYU — If Hill returns for another year, he should emerge as the top dual-threat quarterback in the country.
Cyler Miles, Washington — The physically-gifted Miles should make a huge jump for Chris Petersen next season.
Tommy Armstrong, Nebraska — With Ameer Abdullah gone, Armstrong should become the face of Nebraska football.
* — this list assumes Marcus Mariota, Brett Hundley, Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon and TJ Yeldon will go pro early.