NCAA Football

5 Dark Horse Heisman Trophy Candidates

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Five Dark Horse Heisman Trophy Candidates

Lache Seastrunk
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Each year before every college football season starts, everyone likes to predict who they think is going to take home the Heisman Trophy for that season. Sports books release odds, fans give their guesses to friends, all trying to predict something that is pretty unpredictable.

That is one of the great things about college football; you never know who is going to step up and have that phenomenal season that carries them to the Heisman. This has never been more prevalent than in the last four seasons, in which a dark horse candidate has taken home the trophy in all four.

In 2009, Mark Ingram was only suppose to be some sophomore starter for the Alabama Crimson Tide. He had shown good abilities as a freshman, but nobody knew how he would perform in the starting role. He ended up leading the Tide to a national championship and their first Heisman winner.

In 2010, hardly anyone knew of some kid at Auburn named Cam Newton who used to play at Florida and transferred in from community college. In 2011, people knew of Robert Griffin III and his athletic ability, but nobody predicted him putting together the amazing season he did.

No player has ever been more of a dark horse than last season's Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel. He wasn’t even named the starter going into summer camp, and ended up having video game-like numbers all season on way to the Heisman.

2013 won’t be any different than any other college season; it has the people that everyone thinks will win it, but there are great people featured on this list waiting to take their shot at the trophy.

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5. Stefon Diggs, Maryland Terrapins

Stefon Diggs
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Many people might not know of Diggs, but they should. He was one of the most dynamic players in the country as a freshman last season. The one-time top-10 recruit nationally, Diggs posted 54 receptions for 848 yards, six touchdowns plus a pair of kick returns. The only thing that will hold him back is the fact that he plays for Maryland.

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4. Blake Bell, Oklahoma Sooners

Blake Bell
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Bell is an interesting choice for this list. He hasn’t done anything in terms of passing as quarterback, but as an end-zone running threat, Bell is a touchdown machine. Playing at a school like Oklahoma, there will always be national attention. So if Bell can put together a solid passing game, he could have a Tim Tebow-like season.

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3. Venric Mark, Northwestern Wildcats

Venric Mark
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Venric Mark is another player slowed by the school he plays at. Possibly the most electric player in the Big 10, Mark had 1,366 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns plus a pair of punt returns. Northwestern has a lot of talent returning under Pat Fitzgerald and if they can make it through the Big 10, Mark will be in the conversation for the Heisman.

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2. Brett Hundley, UCLA Bruins

Brett Hundley
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Hundley might be the most underrated quarterback in the country. He threw for 3,745 yards and 29 touchdowns while also rushing for 355 yards and nine touchdowns. He is leading the Bruins in their upswing towards prominence in football again and has the schedule set up to win the trophy, on the road at Nebraska and at Southern Cal to close the season.

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1. Lache Seastrunk, Baylor Bears

Lache Seastrunk
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Lache Seastrunk might bring the Heisman Trophy back to Baylor if he continues to play the way he has. He ran for 1,012 yards and seven touchdowns while playing hurt much of the season. He is one of the fastest players in the entire country and playing in Art Briles offense, he will get the opportunity to shine.