For nearly 40 years, Archie Griffin’s record has stood.
The former Ohio State star running back remains the only two-time Heisman Award winner, but for the fifth time in the past seven seasons the reigning stiff-arm trophy winner is returning to the college football stage. So for the fifth time in the past seven years, Griffin’s 1974-75 run, and its staying power in the record books, is top of mind when discussing the sport’s highest honor.
Following the lead of Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford, Mark Ingram and Johnny Manziel, Florida State’s Jameis Winston is back on campus after taking home the Heisman. It’s a run of names that signifies the youth-friendly trend of the Heisman over the past seven years, but Winston is looking to do what so many others could not.
Leading the defending national champs and preseason No. 1 team into what looks to be a rather soft schedule, Winston and the Seminoles have an opportunity to continue putting up wins — and big numbers while they do it.
But Winston isn’t the only recognizable name back in business.
The quarterback crop is loaded — Marcus Mariota (Oregon), Brett Hundley (UCLA), Bryce Petty (Baylor) — even when taking into account the injury to Ohio State’s Braxton Miller. The running back class features talent all over the country, and there are a couple of freshmen, two-way players and game-breakers that could make things interesting when it comes to Winston’s trophy defense.
So who are the top candidates and how will things shake out? Our college football writers Zach Dillard and Cory McCartney, a Heisman voter, discuss the favorites and more.