Top 10 Heisman Trophy Candidates After College Football Week 1

Top 10 Heisman Trophy Candidates After College Football Week 1

heisman trophy
Brad Penner - USA TODAY Sports

Even though we are only one week into the college football season, there were a number of players who separated themselves with phenomenal performances in the race for the Heisman Trophy. Which players rose above the rest to take an early lead in the hunt for college football's highest individual prize? Let's count down the top 10 Heisman Trophy candidates after Week 1 in College Football.

10. Jameis Winston, QB Florida State

Jameis Winston
Matthew Emmons - USA TODAY Sports

10. Jameis Winston, QB Florida State

Jameis Winston
Matthew Emmons - USA TODAY Sports

The reigning Heisman winner looked pretty pedestrian in his season-opener, completing 25-of-40 passes for 370 yards with 1 touchdown and two interceptions. Winston added a rushing touchdown to make his stat line look a little nicer and help FSU squeak past Oklahoma State 37-31.

9. Melvin Gordon, RB Wisconsin

melvin gordon
Troy Taormina - USA TODAY Sports

9. Melvin Gordon, RB Wisconsin

melvin gordon
Troy Taromina - USA TODAY Sports

When he was in the game, Melvin Gordon looked downright unstoppable as he racked up 140 yards on just 16 carries with a touchdown as he helped the Badgers build a 24-7 lead over LSU. His absence late in the game, however, likely cost Wisconsin the win as they let the game slip away 28-24.

8. T.J. Yeldon, RB Alabama

t.j. yeldon
Pau Abell - USA TODAY Sports

8. T.J. Yeldon

t.j. yeldon
Paul Abell - USA TODAY Sports

T.J. Yeldon was instrumental in Alabama holding off a tough West Virginia squad, pacing the offense with 126 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries. The identity of the Crimson Tide as a physical, run-first team seems intact for 2014 with Yeldon leading the way.

7. Byron Marshall, RB Oregon

byron marshall
Jamie Valdez - USA TODAY Sports

7. Byron Marshall, RB Oregon

byron marshall
Jaime Valdez - USA TODAY Sports

While Oregon was expected to roll over their overmatched tune-up opponent this week, that didn't stop Byron Marshall from being exceptional. The leader of the Ducks' loaded backfield accounted for 228 yards of total offense and two touchdowns on just 16 touches. Imagine what he'll do with a full four quarters of work?

6. Rashad Greene, WR Florida State

rashad greene
Matthew Emmons - USA TODAY Sports

6. Rashad Greene, WR Florida State

rashad greene
Matthew Emmons - USA TODAY Sports

While Winston may have struggled in the defending champ's opener, Rashad Greene shined. He led the way for the offense with 11 receptions for 203 yards and a touchdown, providing a steady presence for the Noles' attack when they desperately needed one.

5. Everett Golson, QB Notre Dame

everett golson
Brian Spurlock - USA TODAY Sports

5. Everett Golson, QB Notre Dame

everett golson
Brian Spurlock - USA TODAY Sports

In his first game back with the Notre Dame offense, Everett Golson showed a little bit of everything as the Irish routed Rice to kick off the 2014 season. He finished the day with 295 yards passing, 41 yards rushing, and five total touchdowns as the catalyst of Notre Dame's offensive barrage.

4. Cameron Artis-Payne, RB Auburn

cameron artis-payne
John Reed - USA TODAY Sports

4. Cameron Artis-Payne, RB Auburn

cameron artis-payne
John Reed - USA TODAY Sports

With their starting quarterback on the sidelines to begin the game, the Auburn offense needed to rely on someone else against Arkansas and Cameron Artis-Payne answered the call. He finished the day with 177 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries as the work-horse back the Tigers needed him to be.

3. Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon

marcus mariota
Jaime Valdez - USA TODAY Sports

3. Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon

marcus mariota
Jaime Valdez - USA TODAY Sports

Against an overmatched opponent, Marcus Mariota looked as dominant as he should have in leading Oregon to the season-opening win. He finished the short day with 267 yards on 14-of-20 passing and 43 rushing yards on six carries with four total touchdowns. With healthy legs underneath him, Mariota is in a strong position to make a Heisman push in 2014.

2. Kenny Hill, QB Texas A&M

kenny hill
Jeremy Brevard - USA TODAY Sports

2. Kenny Hill, QB Texas A&M

kenny hill
Jeremy Brevard - USA TODAY Sports

No player jumped onto the scene in Week 1 quite like Kenny Hill did for Texas A&M. Making his first start after the departure of Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, Hill shredded the South Carolina defense to the tune of 511 yards on 44-of-60 passing with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

1. Todd Gurley, RB Georgia

todd gurley
Dale Zanine - USA TODAY Sports

1. Todd Gurley, RB Georgia

todd gurley
Dale Zanine - USA TODAY Sports

When talking about players who made the biggest impacts in Week 1, it's hard to argue with Georgia running back Todd Gurley. In one of the biggest matchups of the opening weekend, Gurley went off for 198 yards rushing on 15 carries with four total touchdowns, including a 100-yard kick return for a score that blew the game open for the Bulldogs.

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