Paul Zeise: Striking the pose!



Five players who will -- or should -- factor into the Heisman Trophy chatter:

Jameis Winston ■ Quarterback ■ Florida State

The reigning Heisman winner has had an interesting offseason but, as he showed last year, when the lights go on he is ready to roll. He threw for 4,057 yards, 40 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions, and that was in his first year as a starter. He lost some weapons to the NFL, but the Seminoles are loaded again so he should put up big numbers and pile up wins.

Marcus Mariota ■ Quarterback ■ Oregon

Mariota threw for 3,665 yards and 31 touchdowns and ran for 715 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013. He plays in a dynamic, high-tech offense that will enable him to rack up big numbers. That could be his edge over Winston: He could rush for 1,000 yards to go with those big passing numbers.

Bryce Petty ■ Quarterback ■ Baylor

His 2013 numbers are incredible. He threw for 4,200 yards and 32 touchdowns and ran for 14 touchdowns. The Bears averaged 52 points a game and -- as scary as it sounds -- they might be even better. He will need to play in a lot of big national games to get the hype he needs to unseat Winston, but may get the chance because his team figures to be in the Big 12 race.

T.J. Yeldon ■ Running back ■ Alabama

Yeldon gets a mention because he is the best offensive player on what might be the best team. He will have a chance to shine under the spotlight of national TV multiple times, given the Crimson Tide's national status. Yeldon has rushed for 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons and this year he should see his workload increase, meaning that he could produce enough to crash the quarterback-dominated Heisman party.

Todd Gurley ■ Running back ■ Georgia

There is a caveat with Gurley: He has to stay healthier than he did last year. If he does and plays in all of Georgia's games, he may be the frontrunner among running backs as his production was off the charts in the limited action he saw in 2013. It will help if the Bulldogs can contend in the SEC East.


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