Stanford’s Love heads list of preseason Heisman contenders

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              FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2017, file photo, Stanford running back Bryce Love (20) runs in front of Southern California safety Chris Hawkins (4) during the first half of the Pac-12 Conference championship NCAA college football game in Santa Clara, Calif. Love’s decision to return for his senior year instantly made him a preseason front-runner for some of college football’s top individual awards. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
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Stanford running back Bryce Love’s decision to return for his senior year instantly made him a preseason front-runner for some of college football’s top individual awards.

Love won the Doak Walker Award as college football’s top running back and was runner-up in the Heisman Trophy balloting last year as he rushed for 2,118 yards. He’s an obvious candidate for both awards again this year, even though he will have a tough time matching his production from last season.

“I had a good chance to talk with Bryce, to talk about (how) this year can’t be about stats,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. “He broke a lot of records last year, did some phenomenal things last year. This year’s about him getting bigger, stronger, being more versatile, different things, adding to his game. We’re not going to do the Bryce Love stat watch.”

Love is among several players to enter the season as contenders to earn hardware this season. Here’s a rundown of potential candidates for some of college football’s top individual awards.