Arian headed Downtown?

A Tennessee tailback's rushing skills carried him to a 1,000-yard season in 2007. They could carry him to the Downtown Athletic Club in 2008.

Arian Foster, a 6-1, 225-pound junior running back from San Diego, is among 17 players on a "watch list" that Pete Fiutak of says "could be this year's Chase Daniel with the right breaks."

Fiutak's reference was to the Missouri quarterback who came from nowhere to be among four players invited to New York for last weekend's 2007 Heisman Trophy presentation ceremony. The writer isn't suggesting Foster will win the '08 Heisman ... merely that he has a chance to be a finalist.

Fiutak's top five favorites for the '08 Heisman are all quarterbacks. Topping the list, of course, is Florida's Tim Tebow, who won the '07 Heisman as a sophomore. Here's a look at Fiutak's top five:

1. Tim Tebow, Florida

2. Pat White, West Virginia

3. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma

4. Chase Daniel, Missouri

5. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech

Two SEC players are ranked among Fiutak's top 25 Heisman candidates for '08 – LSU quarterback Ryan Perrilloux (No. 8) and Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno (No. 14).

Foster is among three SEC players on the "watch list" of second-tier candidates. The others are Florida receiver Percy Harvin and Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford.

With an Outback Bowl meeting against Wisconsin pending, Foster has run for 1,162 yards and 12 touchdowns through Tennessee's first 13 games of 2007, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. He had a season-high 139-yard outing at Mississippi State and also cracked the 100-yard barrier against Southern Miss (125), Kentucky (118), Vanderbilt (106) and Louisiana-Lafayette (100).

No Tennessee player has ever won the Heisman but four Vols have finished runnerup – Hank Lauricella (1951), Johnny Majors (1956), Heath Shuler (1993) and Peyton Manning (1997).

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