Weekly Heisman Watch 2012

Kenjon Barner Makes a Splash

1. Collin Klein QB Kansas State

Kansas State Wildcats signal caller Collin Klein has the highest quarterback rating in the country. Optimus Klein is completing 71 percent of his passing attempts with 12 touchdowns while rushing for 17 more.

Klein’s 29 total touchdowns have led the Wildcats to a 9-0 mark and the number two spot in the BCS standings. Klein left last week’s game against Oklahoma State with an injury but is expected to play at TCU this week.

2. Kenjon Barner RB Oregon

Oregon running back Kenjon Barner had a game for the ages against USC at the Coliseum, rushing for 321 yards and five touchdowns in the Ducks 62-51 victory. The Riverside native put on quite a show and has clearly established himself as a formidable Heisman contender.

For the season, Barner has 1295 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns while averaging over seven yards per carry. With Oregon in the thick of the national title hunt, expect Barner to make a serious bid for the Heisman.

3. AJ McCarron QB Alabama

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron came through in the clutch, leading the Crimson Tide on the game-winning drive against LSU in Death Valley. Alabama escaped with a 21-17 road win thanks to a five play 72-yard drive capped off by 28-yard touchdown from McCarron to freshman sensation running back T.J Yeldon on a screen pass.

Alabama remains number one in the BCS and will have an opportunity to defend their crown if they win out. As for McCarron, he has yet to throw an interception while tossing 19 touchdowns.

4. Marqise Lee WR USC

Superstar USC wide receiver Marqise Lee put forth another impressive performance against Oregon, hauling in 12 catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns in a losing effort. Lee is the best receiver in the country and deserves Heisman consideration.

For the season, Lee has 88 receptions for 1286 yards and 12 touchdowns with big games against rivals UCLA and Notre Dame still on the schedule.

5. Manti Te’o LB Notre Dame

Notre Dame senior linebacker Manti Te’o is the heart and soul of the Fighting Irish defense. The playmaking captain has 85 tackles and five interceptions in leading the Irish to a 9-0 record and top 4 national ranking.

With the exception of Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson, the Heisman is awarded to offensive players. Defensive players have garnered Heisman consideration in the past but are long shots to bring home the hardware.

Manti Te’o’s importance and impact on Notre Dame’s success is undeniable and makes him worthy of Heisman consideration.