Heading into this season, it appeared that the race for the Heisman Trophy would be a two-man competition between Texas A&M; quarterback Johnny Manziel and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Although Clowney has been impressive, he has not done enough to warrant giving the trophy to a defensive player.
Manziel has had a great sophomore season and still has a shot to become the first person to win two Heismans in his first two years. The things that seems like it iwll keep him from repeating is not his play. His off-field behavior will sway any on the fence voters away from him.
On top of that, there is simply more competition this year. As of now, it appears to be a four-man race between four great quarterbacks. Manziel, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater and Florida State’s Jameis Winston all have a leg in the race.
Manziel has thrown for for 2,594 yards and 22 touchdowns while running for almost 500 yards and six more touchdowns. Out of the four, Manziel has by far the most interceptions with eight.
Bridgewater is thought to be the most pro-ready of the four. He has completed almost 74 percent of his passes, while throwing for almost 2500 yards and 23 touchdowns. He has also only thrown two interceptions.
Bridgewater’s problem lies more with the team that he plays for. Louisville is in the very weak American Conference and the only way for him to win the Heisman would be if the Cardinals went undefeated. After suffering and upset loss to UCF, his hopes appear to be shatters unless he absolutely runs away with it.
Mariota is heading up the most feared offense in the nation and they constantly make defenses look bad. He is the best runner of the three and has put up impressive stats running.He has put up 511 rushing yards with nine touchdowns.
Not to mention, his passing stats are also impressive. He has carved up defenses for 2,281 yards and 20 touchdowns, and has not thrown a single interception all year. Although, the Ducks are ranked second in the nation, they tend to lose games late in the year, and something like that can hurt him again.
Mariota’s biggest competition is Jameis Winston. It is scary to think that Winston is a freshman. Although, Manziel technically won the award as a freshman he was a redshirt freshman which meant that he had a year of practicing against a college defense.
Winston is a true freshman and is in his first year at Florida State. He is making waves and has the Seminoles as the third best team in the nation. They are by far the surprise team of the year.
He had a great game in the team’s huge upset of Clemson and will have another chance this week against Miami. The Hurricanes are ranked seventh but have not played a great opponent yet. The Seminoles are favored but either way it will be a win over the number seven team. A great game this week would be his second great game against a top 10 team.
If Winston plays well against Miami, which he should, and stays at the pace that he is at now for the rest of the year, he should run away with the prestigous award down the stretch.