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NCAA Football

5 College Football Players Who Raised Their Heisman Stock In Week 2

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The View Up There Is Good

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It’s true that a player has to put together great performances week in and week out to win the Heisman Trophy, but one amazing play or a single electrifying game can catapult a player higher up the Heisman watch list or add his name to the conversation. In Week 2, five players did just that, and who made the list may surprise you.

The preseason Heisman watch list was topped (in no particular order) by Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel, Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater, Clemson QB Tajh Boyd, South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney, Alabama QB A.J. McCarron and Ohio State QB Braxton Miller. These are all great players, and some of them played very well in Week 2. But none made the cut for this list.

So who are the five college football players that helped their Heisman Trophy cause the most in Week 2? Whose names should we be memorizing? Who are all the other contenders that even Bridgewater should be looking up at right now? Let’s find out.

The guys who made this list had to meet at least one of the following three criteria: played well in a huge win, put up ridiculous stats or made one (or more) spectacular plays. Some guys checked more than one box, but all played well enough to strengthen their bid for college football’s most prestigious individual trophy.

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5. Georgia Bulldogs QB Aaron Murray

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

So much for the knock on Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray not being able to play well against good teams and win the big game. Murray shed that reputation by throwing for 309 yards and four touchdowns, helping the No. 11 Bulldogs defeat No. 6 South Carolina 41-30 and gain an early edge in the SEC East. He capped his stellar performance by slipping away from Gamecocks star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and connecting with Justin Scott-Wesley on an 85-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Despite losing in Week 1, Murray had a monster game against Clemson. Now, with two weeks worth of lofty stats and a signature win, he’s firmly in the hunt for the Heisman Trophy.

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4. Michigan State Spartans DE Shilique Calhoun

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

That’s right -- there’s a defensive end making so much noise you cannot help but put him in the Heisman Trophy conversation at this point – and his name is not Jadeveon Clowney. While the South Carolina star is trying to figure out how to contribute more than three tackles a game, all Michigan State’s Shilique Coleman is doing is scoring touchdowns. His fumble return and 56-yard interception return against South Florida in Week 2 raised his total to three TDs for the season, which is impressive enough for a defensive lineman through two games. That's without even considering he has single-handedly found the end zone one more time than the Spartans' offense.

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3. Oregon Ducks RB De’Anthony Thomas

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There is not another player in college football more electrifying with the football than Oregon Ducks running back De’Anthony Thomas. This kid’s game is so much bigger than his wiry 5-foot-9, 176-pound frame. He could find the end zone every time he touches the ball, and is one of the few players you can say that about without exaggerating. On just 11 carries against Virginia in Week 2, Thomas racked up 124 yards and three touchdowns. That’s one touchdown every 3.6 carries – ridiculous! His total for the year is now 259 rushing yards and five TDs, and he hasn’t even played a full game yet. Don’t be surprised if Thomas starts adding receiving and return touchdowns to his tally, and launches up the Heisman Trophy watch list faster than he can sprint toward the end zone.

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2. Georgia Bulldogs RB Todd Gurley

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Last year, people were asking if Todd Gurley is the second coming of Georgia Bulldogs great Herschel Walker. Well, he runs like Herschel: tough and with no regard for the defenders trying to take him down. What he lacks that Herschel had are the Heisman Trophy and the national championship. But by all appearances, he’s doing everything in his power to match the best running back in UGA history. Gurley rammed his way through and skated around South Carolina's front seven in Georgia's 41-30 Week 2 win. He gained 134 yards on 30 carries with a touchdown, and caught an 8-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter to give UGA a 10-point lead. After two games against top-10 opponents, Gurley has 288 rushing yards, three touchdowns on the ground and is averaging 6.9 yards a carry. If he keeps up that level of production, he may become the school’s third Heisman Trophy winner.

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1. LSU Tigers WR Odell Beckham

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For a second-straight Saturday, LSU Tigers wide receiver/return specialist Odell Beckham thrilled viewers with big plays on offense and special teams. After recording a ridiculous 272 all-purpose yards in Week 1, Beckham piled up 331 all-purpose yards in Week 2. The highlight was when he returned a missed UAB field goal 100 yards for a TD. He has more than 100 receiving yards in each of the first two games, and has three touchdown receptions. Beckham's return isn't included in NCAA all-purpose yardage because the play is not part of the automated stat program software used to tally such information, which is an injustice. With it, Beckham has 603 yards in two games, or 301.5 per game. Currently, he is listed second with 251.4 yards per game. He’s not getting a lot of Heisman Trophy hype right now, but if he keeps producing big plays and touchdowns, that will change soon.

See related article: 5 College Football Players Who Lowered Their Heisman Stock In Week 2