2012 Heisman Candidates: A Look at the Top Five Players For Week 1

With the college football season officially under way, here’s a look at the top 2012 Heisman candidates heading into Week 1.

5. Oklahoma Sooners Quarterback Landry Jones

Depending on how well Jones plays in 2012, there’s a good chance Oklahoma will be national title contenders this season. There’s no reason why Jones shouldn’t be able to top last season’s numbers in which he threw for 4,463 yards and 29 touchdowns, but the interceptions need to get under control if he wants to remain on this list throughout the regular season.

4. Oregon Ducks Running Back De’Anthony Thomas

With LaMichael James in the NFL, Thomas has the chance to receive more carries in 2012 and considering the type of production he had as a redshirt freshman–expectations are high for the running back in his second season with the Ducks. The fact that Thomas recorded 2,235 all-purpose yards to go along with 18 touchdowns is scary to think about for a player his size.

3. Michigan Wolverines Quarterback Denard Robinson

It’s been a long time since Michigan had this much hype at the beginning of the season and how far this team goes in 2012 will rely heavily on the shoulders of Robinson. His 20 passing touchdowns in 2011 were impressive, but it was Robinson’s 1,176 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns that made this quarterback stand out from the rest.

2. Wisconsin Badgers Running Back Montee Ball

Badger fans were nervous earlier this month when Ball suffered a concussion following an attack near campus, but the injury won’t have an impact on the star running back’s 2012 season. After nearly recording 2,000 rushing yards and 39 total touchdowns, it should be interesting to see what type of numbers Ball displays during his final season at Wisconsin before making the jump to the NFL.

1. USC Quarterback Matt Barkley

Barkley could have easily entered the NFL Draft last April, but the quarterback decided to come back for his senior season with the intention of hopefully leading USC to a national title. Not only did Barkley throw for 3,528 yards and 39 touchdowns in 2011, but he only threw seven interceptions all season–which is pretty impressive.

With these type of numbers, it’s no surprise to see Barkley as the favorite to win the Heisman heading into the 2012 season.

“Like” Dan Parzych on Facebook

Be sure to follow Dan on Twitter @DanParzych