Heisman Trophy watch: a freshman enters the race


The BCS ranking has been released, meaning that the football season is officially in crunch time. Everyone is getting into the thick of their schedule, and players are beginning to stand out. Through the last few weeks, it has begun to look like a three-man race for the Heisman Trophy.

Still leading the way is West Virginia University’s senior quarterback Geno Smith. The numbers that Smith have been putting through his first six games have been out of this world. Despite last week’s loss at Texas Tech, where he threw for 275 yards, one touchdown and only completed 52.7 percent of his passes, Smith has clearly won the title of best pocket passer in the nation. Through six games, the Mountaineers are No. 13 in the nation with a 5-1 record. Smith has completed 75.3 percent of his passes for 2271 yards and 25 touchdowns. However, the stat that has everyone stunned is that he has thrown 259 passes this year, and not one has been intercepted.

Fans do not even have to leave the conference to find the next candidate. K-State’s senior quarterback Collin Klein has been everything and more for the Wildcats so far this season. Klein has K-State at 6-0 and No. 4 in the BCS standings. He is not going to kill defenses with a 70-yard touchdown pass or 4.40 sprint speed, he does all the dirty work, and he is very good at it. Even though it has gone down a bit recently, Klein is still completing 66.9 percent of his passes, which is still nearly 10 percent higher than last season. It should come to no surprise that fans know him as a running quarterback. With 17 total touchdowns this season, Klein’s dual-threat abilities have the Wildcats looking like a serious contender this season. This weekend, Klein will lead K-State to West Virginia to take on Geno Smith and the Mountaineers. The winner of this game should easily become the new front-runner for the trophy.

Even though Ohio State is ineligible to play for a bowl game this season, they are still playing like a championship-caliber team. Sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller is a big reason why. With more than 2,100 yards of total offense and 20 touchdowns, Miller has the Buckeyes looking like one of the best teams in the country.

It is not common to hear the name of a freshman in the Heisman discussion, but Texas A&M; quarterback Johnny Manziel is earning every bit of attention he is getting. With 24 total touchdowns and more than 2,300 yards of total offense, Manziel is looking like the best dual-threat quarterback in the nation. Not once, but twice, Manziel has broken the SEC record for yards in a game. Earning the nickname of “Johnny Football,” Manziel has Texas A&M; at No. 18 in the country in their first season in the SEC. If he is not the Heisman winner this year, he will surely be leading the discussion when the 2013-14 season rolls around.