2012 Heisman Preview: DSPN's Preseason Heisman List

DSPN's Preseason Heisman Top 5 List

1. Matt Barkley (QB/USC, Senior)

USC senior quarterback Matt Barkley enters the 2012 season as the clear front runner for the Heisman Trophy. With an arsenal of playmakers at his disposal, including receivers Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, Barkley should put up big numbers on his way to leading the Trojans to the national title.

Heading into his fourth season under center, Barkley has the experience and leadership needed to lead USC back to greatness. Barring injury, expect Matt Barkley to take home the Heisman, win a national title and be the first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

2. Denard Robinson (QB/Michigan, Senior)

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson has the ability to take it to the house every time he carries the ball. Fresh off leading the Wolverines to their first BCS victory since 2000, Robinson is primed for a huge senior season.

Michigan opens the season at Cowboys Stadium against defending national champion Alabama. A strong performance against Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide would catapult Shoelace to a Heisman worthy campaign. A second year in Al Borges offense should yield better production and fewer turnovers. With plenty of big road games against Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State, Robinson will have the national spotlight to author Heisman defining moments.

3. Eddie Lacy (RB/Alabama, Junior)

Alabama running back Eddie Lacy should carry on the Crimson Tide tradition of Heisman caliber ball carriers. With Trent Richardson headed to the NFL, Lacy steps into the limelight and should enjoy immediate success.

At 6’1 220, Lacy has the size and speed to put up big time numbers for the Tide. Lacy has averaged over 7 yards per carry in his first two seasons in Tuscaloosa. With Alabama in the perennial hunt for a national title, Lacy should have plenty of opportunities to make his case for the trophy.

4. De'anthony Thomas (ATH/Oregon, Sophomore)

Oregon running back De’anthony Thomas is perhaps the most exciting player in college football. The “Black Mamba” or "DAT." as many have come to know him as, is on anybody’s Heisman short list because of his home run ability and all purpose production. Thomas’ electrifying Rose Bowl performance against Wisconsin serves as quite the springboard for the upcoming season.

With Lamichael James NFL bound, Thomas should split carries with talented senior Kenjon Barner. The unexpected departure of quarterback Darron Thomas for the NFL Draft may lead Oregon head coach Chip Kelly to rely more heavily on his talented backfield. Expect Thomas to take full advantage of his increased workload and make the trip to New York City in December.

5. Aaron Murray (QB/Georgia, Junior)

Georgia junior quarterback Aaron Murray should build off his strong sophomore campaign in which he hurled 35 touchdowns for over 3,100 yards. With a talented receiving corps and backfield in place, Murray should exceed last season’s production.

Fresh off a 10 win season, the Bulldogs are expected to challenge for the SEC crown and will have plenty of nationally televised games for Murray to make his mark. If Murray can lead the Bulldogs to a SEC championship, a trip to the Big Apple will surely follow.

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Danny "DSPN" Dabiri (Editor)