2011 Heisman Trophy Futures – Predictions
The Heisman Trophy is one of the most prestigious individual player awards not just in college football, but in all of sports. It is awarded annually to the top college football player in the nation and much like some other prized sports awards, there are odds posted on the players that have the best chance to win it this season.
BetEd.com has opened Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck as this year’s odds-on-favorite at +300 which is hardly a surprise given that he probably would have been the first player taken in the recent NFL draft had he decided to forego his senior year and come out early. Couple this with the fact that since 2000 a quarterback has won the Heisman nine of the past 11 years makes him a solid choice at these odds. Last season’s Heisman winner, Cam Newton was the overall No. 1 pick in the draft this year.
Luck is certainly in an excellent position to win top player honors as his team should once again be one of the best in the nation, giving him more than ample opportunity to impress the voters. Last season he threw for 3338 yards and 32 touchdowns while completing an amazing 70.7 percent of his passes. These numbers landed him as the runner-up to Newton in last season’s final Heisman vote tally. As long as he stays healthy and productive, it is hard to see him not getting the majority of the votes for this season’s award.
Denard Robinson and Marcus Lattimore are the co-second favorites to win at +500. Robinson’s numbers last season speak for themselves as the Michigan quarterback threw for 2570 yards and 18 TD’s and rushed for 1702 yards; scoring 14 touchdowns with his feet. Much like Newton did in 2010, Robinson should once again be able to rack up some serious numbers with both his arm and feet this season. The Wolverines also have some high-profile home games against Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Nebraska which should attract a fair amount of media attention.
Lattimore rushed for 1197 yards as a freshman last season with South Carolina and should be an even bigger part of the offense this season given the Gamecocks’ inconsistent play at the quarterback position. Do not be surprised to see Head Coach Steve Spurrier have Lattimore running the ball 30+ times a game. As long as he can hold up to the punishment, he has a great chance to put up some monster numbers this season. Another plus is his ability catching the ball out of the backfield. Lattimore finished last season with 29 receptions for 412 yards.
The next pair of favorites are LaMichael James and Landry Jones at +600. James will be entering his third season with the Oregon Ducks and once again figures to be a huge part of the offensive scheme given his 294 carries for 1731 yards in 2010. The Ducks are not a one-dimensional offense, but will lean toward primarily running the ball with James receiving the majority of the carries. His yards per carry actually went down last season to 5.9 after averaging 6.7 yards his freshman year.
Jones has the benefit of being the starting quarterback for a team that should start the season ranked first in most of the major polls. The junior signal-caller will have an opportunity to impress voters right out of the gate with trip to Florida State the second week of the season. Last season he was second in the nation in passing yards with 4,718, which was almost 500 more yards than the next QB on the list. If can once again put the ball up over 600 times and complete over 65 percent of his passes, Jones would have to capture the attention of a good majority of the voters and could be a good value pick at +600.
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