I feel like this is becoming a theme.
Despite showing he is human with a late interception against Kansas State, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III is still tops on our weekly Heisman watch, though Andrew Luck hasn’t really done anything to take himself out of the running. We also have a hot rising candidate this week.
1. Robert Griffin III, Quarterback, Baylor
Griffin passed for 346 yards and five touchdowns against Kansas State, and it’s slightly baffling to think that Baylor was still passing the ball late in a close game where they controlled the ball, but sure enough, Griffin threw his first pick of the season and it set up a game-winning field goal for the Wildcats.
His season statistics are still far better than any other quarterback to this point, and he’s thrown for 1,308 yards with 18 touchdowns and the lone interception, completing 82.3 percent of his passes.
Griffin = Unstoppable.
2. Andrew Luck, Quarterback, Stanford
Luck has been rock solid all season long, and he added a nice one-handed catch to his 2011 season highlight reel on Saturday. Through the air, he was nearly perfect completing 85.2 percent of his passes for 227 yards and three touchdowns. One thing you’ll notice about Luck is that he really spreads the ball around to all of his targets, and you can already see that he’s going to be an excellent NFL quarterback someday.
For now, he’s hot on Griffin’s tail for the most dominant player in college football.
3. Russell Wilson, Quarterback, Wisconsin
If you had told me that someone in the Big Ten was the front-runner to win the Heisman, I might have guessed you were talking about Michigan’s Denard Robinson. This season, though, not even Robinson’s exciting play has been more impressive than what Russell Wilson has done since coming to Madison and joining the Badgers.
Wilson has done it through the air, on the ground, and has really proven to be the most valuable player in the Big Ten thus far. His dominant performance against the Nebraska Cornhuskers included 255 yards passing, two touchdowns, and a rushing score.
4. Trent Richardson, Running Back, Alabama
One SEC running back replaces another on our Heisman Watch with Trent Richardson taking the spot of South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore. Trent Richardson is fourth in the country with 611 rushing yards, and he is the only player among the nation’s top five rushers who does not have 100 carries yet. He also is averaging a whopping 6.5 yards per carry with 10 rushing touchdowns. He has also caught 11 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown.
He truly is an all-around back, and my favorite prospect at the position for 2012.
5. Tyrann Mathieu, Cornerback, LSU
Our first defensive player has finally made the list! Mathieu is one of the most dominant defenders in the country, and is also a key special teams player for the Tigers and is always, always, ALWAYS around the football.
Desmond Howard knows a thing or two about the Heisman trophy, and he said that Mathieu had his nomination after a dominant performance against Kentucky.
So far in his career (18 games), Mathieu has forced nine fumbles in his career, including two on Saturday, one that he picked up and returned for a touchdown after sacking the quarterback. This season, he’s got 36 tackles, 1.5 sacks, an interception, four forced fumbles, and two return touchdowns.
This guy is for real, and he’s a true sophomore.