Ouimet's Heisman Handicap (Pre-Season)

Former U-M Staffer Mark Ouimet handicaps the <b>Heisman</b> – here is how Mark sees it in the preseason.<br><br> Is there a U-M player (or players) on his list?

1. Jason White, QB, Oklahoma – There hasn't been one college team to ever return a 6th year senior Heisman Trophy winning quarterback who passed for 3,846 and 40 Touchdowns the year before. This is not the only reason he is the front runner, but the fact that he has playmakers around him to achieve those stats again this year. The Sooners ended the season with two losses, so it's important for Jason to get off to a good start to show everyone he was worthy of the Heisman he won last year. The key to a repeat Heisman is to play within the Sooner system and let the playmakers make plays for you. If he does Mr. White might have a chance to win back to back Heisman's in New York City this winter. Look for an outstanding year from this kid in Norman, but he must earn it again or someone will pass him by!

2. Matt Leinart, QB, USC – He finished the season well last year in the Rose Bowl game against Michigan, while have a strong campaign completing 255 of 402 for 3,556 yards. During this outstanding freshman season he had a QB Rating of 164.45 with 38 Touchdowns while only giving up 9 Interceptions on the year. That was a great year for a freshmen quarterback and look for more of the same in his sophomore campaign as the schedule is favorable. Matt really improved as the season went along, even though this rebuilt offensive line will have to protect him. This offensive line unit will be the key to the season for both Matt Leinart and the Trojans this year. You will definitely see this kid in New York City for the presentation this winter and will be a frontrunner all year as the Trojans make a run at another National Title.

3. Darren Sproles, RB, Kansas State – This kid is only 5'7" and 180 lbs but he will find a way to keep those legs moving and might be the best running back in the country. He put together a great season with 1986 yards while averaging 6.5 yards a carry for the Big 12 Champions. Look for more of the same this year and it will be important for this young man to gain the attention of the voters with some big games to start the season. He lost both of the guards up front, but will get 3 other offensive lineman back to help lead that charge. The key to his year will be how much the quarterback can help him like Ell Roberson did last year. Very important to have a good game against Fresno State in the second game of the year to start out the campaign.

4. David Greene, QB, Georgia – He had a decent year last season with a 60.3% completion rate and 3,307 yards passing, but the offense must improve to the point that the Bulldogs become explosive on offense. David only had 13 Touchdowns last season, but did have 11 Interceptions so it is very important that he improves on that ratio. This team and David have a chance at running the table, which is why Mr. Greene has a chance at the Heisman. Must improve on last year's season and needs to keep Coach Richt happy with his play, so that the coach doesn't feel the need to insert DJ Shockley in the game at any given time. With a solid defense David will be on the field a lot which will equate into many opportunities to make big plays for the Bulldogs.

5. Anthony Davis, RB, Wisconsin – With the entire offensive line coming back this is my sleeper to win the Heisman. Wisconsin produces both good offensive lineman and good running backs with this year not being an exception to the rule. Coach Alvarez loves to pound the football and establish the running game, so Anthony will get many carries and yards as the season goes, but only if he can stay healthy through the pounding of the Big Ten conference. The Badgers have a great schedule to start the season with Central Florida, UNLV, Arizona, Penn State, and Illinois which is why Anthony will have an opportunity to exploit some defenses early in the year against those five teams. Look for the Badgers to make a run at the Big Ten Title with Michigan off the schedule and look for Mr. Davis to make a run at the Heisman by grabbing a seat in New York City.

Others to Watch:

6. Cedric Benson, RB, Texas
7. Carnell Williams, RB, Auburn
8. Braylon Edwards, WR, Michigan
9. Chris Leak, QB, Florida
10. Anthony Rodgers, QB, California
11. Rasheed Marshall, QB, West Virginia
12. Kyle Orton, QB, Purdue
13. Chris Rix, QB, Florida State
14. Brad Smith, QB, Missouri
15. Justin Vincent, RB, LSU
16. Brock Berlin, QB, Miami, Fla.
17. Charlie Whitehurst, QB, Clemson
18. Mark Clayton, WR, Oklahoma
19. DeAngelo Williams, RB, Memphis
20. Dan Orlovsky, QB, UConn
21. Walter Reyes, RB, Syracuse
22. TA McClendon, RB, North Carolina State
23. Antrel Rolle, CB, Miami, Fla.
24. Craphonso Thorpe, WR, Florida State
25. Geoff McArthur, WR, California
26. Frank Gore, RB, Miami
27. Marion Barber III, RB, Minnesota
28. David Pollack, DE, Georgia
29. David Underwood, RB, Michigan

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