Jameis Winston is having such an amazing season, he could become the second freshman in as many years to win the Heisman Trophy.
He’s ringing up similar stats as Johnny Manziel had last year, when he became the first freshman to win college football’s top individual honor.
Five games into Florida State’s schedule, Winston has completed 73.2 percent of his passes for 1,441 yards, 17 TDs and two picks. He’s rushed for 135 yards and two more scores for 1,576 yards of total offense and 19 TDs.
At this point last year, Manziel had 1,285 yards passing and rushed for 495 for 1,780 yards of total offense.
In fact, ESPN pointed out that Winston has more combined TDs at this point than Manziel had in 2012 and Cam Newton had in 2010, and fewer turnovers than Manziel, RGIII (2011) and Newton.
That said, I don’t think Winston will win the Heisman this year.
But it will be a QB. It’s pretty much always a QB these days, since they have won 12 of the past 13 Heismans, which made all that preseason chatter of Jadeveon Clowney’s Heisman chances seem even more silly.
We’re not even halfway through the season, so there are too many variables when trying to predict who will rock the Heisman vote, but here are the frontrunners, with help from HeismanPundit.com.
1. Marcus Mariota, Oregon: The engineer of an unstoppable machine, Mariota and Oregon are having an incredible season. He might have 60 TDs — rushing and passing — by the end of the season, but still must overcome UCLA, Stanford and Washington.
2. Manziel: He’s still brash and spectacular, even though he’s running less than last year. Manziel shined on a national stage against Alabama and will have a late chance to impress voters at LSU on Nov. 23.
3. Tajh Boyd, Clemson: Steady and sure, Boyd is doing all the right things. He set a career high with 455 yards passing and five TDs in a blowout of Syracuse, but threw his first two interceptions. He will need a strong game against FSU in two weeks.
4. Aaron Murray, Georgia: Murray has big stats, and has gained national love for his last-minute comebacks the past two weeks, but injuries have decimated his receivers. That could hurt his chances, even with the toughest part of the schedule in the rearview mirror.
5. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville: It was expected that Bridgewater would have a great season, and he is, with 1,562 yards, 16 TD passes and one pick, but the Cardinals play one of the easiest schedules in the country. He’ll get a lot of air time with two Thursday and two Friday games to play.
And this list doesn’t include Baylor’s Bryce Petty, UCLA’s Brett Hundley, LSU’s Zach Mettenberger or Alabama’s A.J. McCarron.
As you can see, the nation is filled with excellent QBs playing in systems that allow them to showcase their skills.
So while Winston is having a great season, this might not be his year.