It's never too early to talk college football, and you can't mention college football without mentioning the ever-important Heisman Trophy.
While guys such as Darren McFadden, Dennis Dixon, and Colt Brennan have moved on to more prestigious lives in the NFL, as they're all destined for professional success (at least McFadden, maybe), there are still some extremely talented men in this year's game.
Here are my top five preseason candidates for the Heisman.
Tim Tebow, Florida Gators
Tebow, the reigning winner of this award, is the obvious favorite heading into the '08 season. When he's not out drinking with his buddies (there was a picture online of Tebow at a party, look it up) or voluntarily circumcising little Filipino boys, Tebow is a pretty darn good football player. He helped contribute in his Gators winning the National Championship two years ago, and last year he totaled 55 touchdowns rushing and passing.
It will be no shock if he becomes the second person to win the award twice (Archie Griffin was the other), but there are some other guys out there who could pull off the Heisman upset.
Pat White, West Virginia Mountaineers
Minus coach Rich Rodriguez, White's game will suffer this season. However, he is still one of the most dynamic players out there, with the ability to burn a defense with his arm and/or his legs at any given time. He also has some pretty solid receivers to throw to, and a quick Noel Devine behind him to hand the football off to.
Even with new coach Bill Stewart taking over the duties as head coach after the aforementioned departure of Rodriguez (hey Mountaineers fans, did you hear? He went to Michigan), White is still a force to be reckoned with in the Big East.
Chase Daniel, Missouri
Daniel burst onto the national scene last season, and he actually had a chance of winning the award last year had he performed better in the Big XII Title game. Like White, Daniel has some great receivers and he has a cannon for an arm. If Missouri has another season like they did a year ago, it will be because of the performance of their quarterback.
Knowshon Moreno, Georgia Bulldogs
At the beginning of his 2007 freshman campaign, no one had heard of Knowshon Moreno. After a few games, that changed rather quickly. Moreno established himself as one of the top-tier running backs in the nation, and even drew comparisons to the greats in the history of Georgia football (Herschel Walker, maybe? I hear he was pretty good).
Mark Richt has given his young running back some very high praise, and he isn't the only one doing so. Expect Moreno to be in the Heisman race all season long.
Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech Red Raiders
In a pass-happy offense like that of Red Raider head coach Mike Leach, it's very difficult for a receiver or quarterback to receive recognition and awards, since many people tend to believe they're just system players. This isn't the case with Crabtree, as he is far and away the best wideout in college football right now.
The then-sophomore wide receiver won both the Biletnikoff and Paul Warfield awards, both given to the nation's top pass catcher. The fact that Heisman hopeful Graham Harrell is his quarterback helps a little bit too.
Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
Colt McCoy, Texas
Graham Harrell, Texas Tech
Matt Grothe, South Florida
While the top five contenders are Tebow, White, Daniel, Moreno, and Crabtree, don't think these other guys don't have a chance.
Grothe has quarterbacked an upstart South Florida team, Bradford burst onto the scene at Oklahoma after Rhett Bomar was kicked off the team, Harrell is the best quarterback that Mike Leach has required (yes, that includes Sonny Cumbie), while Colt McCoy hopes to follow in Vince Young's footsteps and lead Texas to a National Championship.
Many believe this year's class pales in comparison to that of last season, but this is actually going to be the best Heisman race we've seen in a while.
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