Hunting the Heisman: Tajh Boyd proves he's more than worthy
The year before, Robert Griffin III was an unknown, and Andrew Luck had already been dubbed as the greatest NFL prospect since John Elway, giving him the edge.
This just goes to show how silly and unfair it is to tease our brains in such way, but we'll do it regardless. For reference, by preseason favorite to win the Heisman this year was as followed: Braxton Miller, Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota.
1. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
Passing: 18-of-30 (60.0%), 270 yards, 3 TDs, 168.6 passer rating
Rushing: 13 carries, 42 yards (3.2 ypc), 2 TDs
Why: If you watched the Clemson offense dominate a top SEC defense for four quarters, then you know why Boyd tops this list after Week 1. He was incredible—he led the Tigers up and down the field, converting 44 percent of their third down conversions, and maintained a high-tempo speed that kept the Dawgs' defense on its heels the entire game.
2. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Passing: 23-of-28 (82.1%), 355 yards, 5 TDs, INT
Rushing: 2 carries, 1 yard (.5 ypc)
Why: Teddy is a special quarterback. He's going to put up some ridiculous numbers this year and will more than likely be the No. 1 quarterback taken in the 2014 NFL Draft. But unfortunately for him, one tiny slip up in The American Conference could blow any chances of him taking home the bronze. I still need to see more from this Louisville team as a unit before I can make Bridgewater my top pick here.
3. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Passing: 25-of-27 (92.6%), 356 yards, 4 TDs
Rushing: 8 carries, 25 yards (3.1 ypc), TD
Why: I know it was just one game—and the first game of his collegiate career—but it's so difficult not to overreact with Winston's Monday night performance. Sure, it was against a poor Pittsburgh defense, but the kid was NEAR PERFECT in every aspect of the game. He was a confident leader on and off the field and instantly makes Florida State a BCS dark horse.
4. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
Passing: 15-of-22 (68.2%), 178 yards, 2 TDs, INT
Rushing: 17 carries, 77 yards (4.5 ypc)
Why: X-Brax 360 drops a few slots after his performance against Buffalo, but not because he played poorly—but because I wanted to see more. Early on, I noticed a tremendous difference in his throwing mechanics. He has a quicker release and his footwork is much more crisp than a year ago. Miller looked to throw the ball rather than scramble and run, which is a great sign moving forward. Cramps kept him out for a good portion of the second half, so we'll see if he can it all together in a four-quarter game.
5. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Passing: 6-of-8 (75%), 94 yards, 3 TDs
Rushing: 6 carries, 19 yards (3.2 ypc)
Why: Manziel came in from his 30-minute suspension and made an immediate impact on the field...against Rice. With the suspension behind him and all eyes watching, he made a fool of himself by taunting opposing players with hand gestures implying he had money and acting like he wasn't going to sign someone's autograph. He then embarrassed coach Kevin Sumlin by continuing to talk smack after a ref's warning, which led to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and his benching for the rest of the game. I don't think Manziel will win the Heisman for many reasons, but here are two: he's a hot head, and the Aggies just aren't good enough to win 11 games again.
Also in the hunt: Todd Gurley, Georgia; Duke Johnson, Miami (Fla.); De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon; Marcus Mariota, Oregon; Derek Carr, Fresno State.
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