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Old 07-17-2006, 03:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2006 preview: Top 100 Heisman candidates

damn 4 post for one article, removing the pointless limit, will stop this from happening

10. QB Pat White, West Virginia – A year ago, Pat White was a non-entity to outside Morgantown. Today, he’s one of college football’s rising stars and a bona fide Heisman candidate in just his sophomore year. White didn’t even begin 2005 as the starter, but after winning the job in October, he performed like a Michael Vick knockoff, rushing for almost 1,000 yards and leading the ‘eers to a Sugar Bowl upset of Georgia.

9. QB Sam Keller, Arizona State – Or Rudy Carpenter, last year’s passing efficiency leader. The two are interchangeable, although Keller has the edge now that his injured hand has healed. Combined, the two threw for 37 touchdowns and 4,438 yards last fall. If either gets 80% of the snaps, those numbers plus an ASU run at the Pac-10 title equals Jake Plummer: The Sequel.

8. RB
Steve Slaton, West Virginia – West Virginia football is hot these days, and kids like Slaton and QB Pat White will be the beneficiaries of the unprecedented national exposure. Slaton was magnificent in his 2005 debut, shaking off early-season anonymity to finish with 1,128 yards on the ground and 19 touchdowns in just over half a season.

7. RB Michael Bush, Louisville – Bush entered Louisville as a blue-chip quarterback. He’ll leave with just about every school rushing and scoring mark. He was a scoring machine last year, reaching the end zone 24 times in just 10 games, something he’s capable of duplicating in this year’s combustible Cardinal offense.

6. WR Ted Ginn, Jr., Ohio State – Forecasters predicting a Heisman in Ginn’s future may have been a year off. He never mounted a challenge in a disappointing sophomore season, but 2006 figures to be more promising. Ginn, coaches say, has really stepped up his game in the off-season and on speed alone, he’s a candidate for six every time the ball is in his hands.

5. QB Brian Brohm, Louisville – By just about every measure, Brohm is the prototypical franchise quarterback, a future first-day draft choice. He makes all the throws, can escape pressure and is heady way beyond his years. Now a seasoned veteran, Brohm is back from the knee injury that curtailed his sophomore season, and poised for a blowout year as Bobby Petrino’s triggerman.

4. QB Chris Leak, Florida – Urban Meyer’s in his second season at Florida. Leak’s in his second season with Meyer. Expectations for 2006 will be soaring in Gainesville. If nothing else, last year proved Leak was not a perfect match for the spread-option, but he’s still a terrific quarterback, who found a way to account for 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns in last year’s up-and-down season.

3. QB Troy Smith, Ohio State – Smith has had a soap opera career in Columbus that’s about to reach a crescendo at a most opportune time. Last season began with him being suspended for the Miami (OH) opener and ended with a career-high 408 total yards against Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl that launched his Heisman campaign a few months earlier than anticipated.

2. RB Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma – The line didn’t block. The passing game couldn’t keep defenses honest. And a banged-up Peterson was uncharacteristically ordinary for much of the 2005 season. If QB Rhett Bomar makes the necessary strides to keep the heat off the running game, count on something closer to 2004, when Peterson ran for 1,925 yards and nearly became the first freshman to ever win the Heisman.

1. QB Brady Quinn, Notre Dame – Quinn is by far the top returning Heisman vote-getter, but that alone doesn’t make him this year’s pre-season favorite. He flourished beyond anyone’s expectations in his first season under Charlie Weis, throwing 32 touchdowns and setting all kinds of Irish passing records. With a year in the vault and WR Jeff Samardzija back, he might be even better in 2006. And unlike Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson, whose quest rests on the development of others, Quinn is firmly at the controls of his destination.
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