There’s a good chance that Heisman Trophy fever will rage across the Palmetto State during the upcoming college football season.
In order to take the temperature each week on the race for the coveted award – which is given annually to the top player in the nation by the Downtown Athletic Club in December after a vote of 870 media members and former winners – The State has assembled a panel of Heisman voters to rank their Top 5 each week. Using a 5-4-3-2-1 point-scale, we’ll give readers a glimpse at the race every week.
As he did in the preseason poll of ESPN experts, USC junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney came in first, edging Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel by a point. Manziel, who won this past season, got more first-place votes – six to Clowney’s four – but Clowney was the only player to appear on all 13 ballots.
Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd also received solid support, finishing sixth in the initial poll.
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|1. Jadeveon Clowney, DE||USC||45 (4)|
|2. Johnny Manziel, QB||Texas A&M||44 (6)|
|3. Braxton Miller, QB||Ohio State||26 (2)|
|4. A.J. McCarron, QB||Alabama||18 (1)|
|5. Teddy Bridgewater, QB||Louisville||17|
|6. Tajh Boyd, QB||Clemson||15|
|7. Aaron Murray, QB||Georgia||9|
|8. Marcus Mariota, QB||Oregon||8|
|9. Marqise Lee, WR||Southern Cal||4|
|10. T.J. Yeldon, RB||Alabama||3|
|10. Sammy Watkins, WR||Clemson||3|
|12. Amari Cooper, WR||Alabama||1|
|13. Todd Gurley, RB||Georgia||1|
|14. De’Anthony Thomas, RB||Oregon||1|
*Number in parenthesis denotes first place votes.
Heisman Panel: Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Heath Cline, 107.5 The Game; Seth Emerson, Macon Telegraph; Rick Henry, WIS-TV; Josh Kendall, The State; Blair Kerkhoff, Kansas City Star; Phil Kornblut, South Carolina Radio Network; Kevin McCrarey, South Carolina Sports Network; Andrew Miller, Charleston Post and Courier; Gene Sapakoff, Charleston Post and Courier; Neil White, The State; Larry Williams, TigerIllustrated.com; Pete Yanity, WSPA-TV.