We’re getting close to the regular season and it’s only fitting to put out the Heisman Trophy Candidates. Of course this may change every week based on players performance but here are the candidates from the Big Ten.
Denard Robinson (Michigan)
If there was a year that Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson could win the Heisman this is it. It’s Robinson’s third year as the starter and Michigan returns somewhat of a cohesive starting front that will help protect the dual-threat quarterback. Although Robinson’s completion percentage dipped from 62.5 to 55.0 from 2010 to 2011, he is such a threat with the football in his hands whether he is throwing it or running it. He has a number of chances to perform on the big stage this season with four of Michigan’s games on national television including the first game of the season against Alabama. Robinson has a chance to shoot of of the gates in the Heisman race with an impressive showing against the defending national champs.
Montee Ball (Wisconsin)
Ball returns for his senior season in Madison as the Heisman favorite in many individuals eyes. Wisconsin’s offensive line is said to be even bigger and better this season (if that’s possible) and Ball will have the luxury of running behind them. He’s put on a few more pounds this offseason to help cushion the blow throughout the seasons grind which will help him later in games to not get fatigued. He’s as quick and nimble as he is ruthless with the football, ready to run over or through a defender if they step in his way. If Badgers new quarterback Danny O’Brien struggles early, Bret Bielema will not hesitate to ride Ball off in to the sunset.
Rex Burkhead (Nebraska)
Burkhead heads in to 2012 as the workhorse for the Huskers after rushing for 1,268 yards with 15 touchdowns on the ground last season. He’s the true do-it-all back and has showed he can carry the load when needed. The Huskers plan on using Qb Taylor Martinez arm more this season and his best friend will be Burkhead in the backfield. He’s fast and quick through the hole with a burst to take it all the way to the end zone. He’s a different type of back from the other ones in the Big Ten and he is Mr. Reliable at anytime in the game. If Burkhead can get off to a strong start he has several away games at Ohio State, Michigan State and Iowa to really impress the voters and show he is Heisman worthy.
When it gets closer to the season I will release a few sleepers I think who can make a push for the Heisman this year.
Will Wilson is a writer for Rant Sports covering College Football and the Big Ten Conference.