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An early look at the preseason Heisman hopefuls

Published: Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:53 a.m. MDT

The college football season is only a month away and the Heisman hype has already begun. A good campaign could launch an up-and-comer into the national spotlight, but at the end of the day winning is all that matters. Only players from successful teams have a real chance of taking home the biggest prize an individual can win in the college game. After all, one of the big reasons why Jameis Winston started to get some attention was because of the great start by Florida State in 2013.

While Winston is poised to add another Heisman to his trophy case, there will be plenty of competition standing in his way.

Here is an early look at the leading candidates for the 2014 Heisman Trophy

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utcyclist
Draper, UT

You put Taysom Hill on this list? That's plain crazy and blatant pandering to the local audience. Chucky Keaton maybe gets a dark horse mention but that's it from our great state. Enjoy the home cooking.

Rockwell
Baltimore, MD

utcyclist

Despite your uninformed opinion, Taysom is a legitimate Heisman candidate.

He probably won't win it, but anybody who claims that he doesn't belong on the list either doesn't know much about college football, or is just demonstrating their BYU hatred.

souptwins
Lindon, UT

Have you looked at the watch lists Hill is on from the national media? No hometown pandering necessary. He gets the attention no matter what the media market. He's certainly far from a front-runner, but deserves inclusion on the list. If he has a great season, he'll get even more consideration his Sr. year.

Mormon Ute
Kaysville, UT

2 players from Utah on the list? Bleacher Report does have the both listed as honorable mentions, but they are far from the top 15 on any of the national watch lists. I'd say this report is a little bit optimistic putting them in the top 15 contending for the Heisman.

It is good to see 5 Pac 12 players on this list and you see even more on many of the national lists. At least 3 Pac 12 QB's show up on most lists. It is great to see the strength of the Pac 12 validated and it will be fun to have a couple of Heisman candidates play in Salt Lake this year. Of course that also illustrates the tough task ahead of the Utes to gain respectability in the Pac 12. Go Utes!!

Thriller
Saint George, UT

One of these things is not like the others...

Idahotransplant
West Jordan, UT

If Taysome Hill can complete 60-65% of his passes this year and have the same ability to break it open to run when needed verses the sub 53% completion rate he had last year. Watch out!

JinaYi87
Norman, OK

Athlon Sports lists Taysom in the top 20. They do not claim he is a finalist, but they do list him as the same tier as Yeldon, T. Kelly, and M. Davis. Athlon actually has no mention of Ajayi. They mention (rightly so) Chuckie as a sort of dark horse coming back from injury. And I hate to say it, but if you go to NFL.com and look at 14 for '14, whose picture pops up first? Taysom Hill. They list him as the 14th prospect (which comes before 15th).

These lists are all just guesses. Pretty much no one even had heard of Winston at the start of last season. And then he won.

Samwise
Salt Lake City, UT

Hill and Keeton are both on various national "watch lists". The Ute ignorance is showing in a lot of these comments. Are either top 15 candidates? no. Are both at least on various lists throughout the country? yes. Do preseason watch lists mean anything at all? No. So does it make sense that the Deseret News would put both Hill and Keeton (and any Utes if there were any on any watch list anywhere) on the list? yes, of course. But will either of them actually win the Heisman or even be finalists? Probably not. Good luck to both of them though. The 2 best QBs in the state.

Utes11
Salt Lake City, Utah

Petty..all the way. It was a crime that he wasn't invited to NY last year! Only threw 3 pics all year!!!!

Striker
Omaha, NE

A Boise guy was invited to NYC one year, so anyone can be the winner if they are good enough and win nearly all of their games.

poyman
Lincoln City, OR

It's laughable that ute fans get their ire up when 2 solid local players are included on the "local watch list"...

One day the utes just might have a player that slips into the watch list (although I don't see that happening anytime soon) and when and if it ever does I am sure that they will get the same coverage as Keeton and Hill.

eric2002x
Miami, FL

The jealousy from Ute fans is unbecoming....

"During the offseason, Hill has been named to watch lists for the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award, College Football Performance Awards Quarterback Trophy, the Davey O’Brien Award and the Walter Camp Football Foundation “players to watch” for its 2014 Player of the Year award."

Who knows how well he'll do, but he is on watch lists for many QB awards as well as Heisman. That doesn't mean "front-runner", it means he has potential to be in the Heisman race.

cougarguy
Glenwood, MD

I had only one problem with this list. Harvey Langi should have been on it.

RSL*
Why, AZ

To be realistic even if USU or BYU quarterbacks do very well and win every game I still don't think they can win the Heisman. Their schedule is to weak compared to some of the other potential quarterbacks from bigger teams and tougher schedules.

NevadaCoug
Overton, NV

RSL*, if you really believe "weak schedule" is the reason why neither Chuckie or Taysom would win the Heisman, you're deluding yourself. It isn't about schedule so much as who you play for.

RSL*
Why, AZ

NevadaCoug

In the last 10 years name a Heisman winner that had as weak of a schedule as BYU and USU do this year? You can't prove your a Heisman quarterback against mediocre teams. That is what happened to the NIU quarterback last year since he didn't play great teams. USU proved it last year against NIU in the bowl game by making the NIU quarterback look weak.

Truebluecoug
Park City, UT

I believe the Y has had a Heisman Trophy winner in Ty Detmer, and several top 10 finishes by other players. I agree the schedule is soft this year, but Taysom is really not a viable candidate to win. Be patient Utah, for the schedule is much more difficult in Taysom's senior year.

BlueHusky
Mission Viejo, CA

Preseason lists are nothing to get excited about. The only take-away is that your guy is noticed.

Personally, I think Hill has the chops and will be really good they year. But like Detmer, Hill will have to beat someone really tough (Detmer beat No. 1 Miami). But the team got beat up in Hawaii last game, after Detmer was announced winner, which took the gloss off.

Next year might be a chance for Hill, if he's still healthy. The schedule is pretty tough, so if Hill is really sharp and leads the Cougs to a to 10, he could be in the running.

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