The Dynamic Dozen is slightly quarterback heavy with seven listed, but a variety of players made the list as well including two running backs, two wide receivers, and a defensive end.
The Dynamic Dozen has yet to pick a winner during the preseason, but 2012 Heisman finalist Collin Klein was ranked 10th on the preseason list last season and the early 2011 rankings, just six weeks through the season, had eventual winner Robert Griffin III as the frontrunner.
The list consists of the 12 most dynamic Heisman Trophy contenders. It is based on the contenders that along with having gaudy numbers also make dynamic and meaningful plays on the field. This is not a predictor, but is a useful guide for Heisman candidates.
Johnny Manziel 2013 Cotton Bowl Highlights
1. QB Johnny Manziel, So. 6-1 200, Texas A&M Aggies
Archie Griffin is the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner, but if Manziel has another season like the last, he may be the next repeat Heisman. Johnny Football amazed spectators last year with his elusiveness and on the field ad-lib ability. Coach Kevin Sumlin said about Manziel before the Missouri game, "If you look at his numbers compared to anyone else who has ever played the game, they speak for themselves."
2. DE Jadeveon Clowney, Jr. 6-6 272, South Carolina Gamecocks
Clowney is definitely the early favorite to be drafted number one overall in the 2014 NFL Draft if he choses to enter. The unanimous First Team All-American could also easily be the first all defensive player to win the Trophy. He displays an awesome burst of speed on top of his great length and size. The lengthy defensive end has also made a name with "the hit" against Michigan in the Outback Bowl.
3. QB Teddy Bridgewater, Jr. 6-3 220, Louisville Cardinals
Bridgewater is easily the top pro-style quarterback in college football. He has great all around skills with accurate passes and a pretty long ball. He is not really a dual threat, but is very mobile. Toughness is another attribute "Bubble Gum" Bridgewater exhibited as he played through injuries last season.
4. QB Tajh Boyd, Sr. 6-1 225, Clemson Tigers
Boyd could have possibly been the top quarterback drafted in this year’s NFL Draft, but he decided to stay in school. He is already a well rounded QB that can make all the throws and another season will only enhance his abilities. He is the first quarterback to garner consecutive 10-win seasons at Clemson since 1987,88. Look for a big senior outing.
5. QB Braxton Miller, Jr. 6-2 215, Ohio State Buckeyes
Miller is a true dual threat quarterback that thrives under Urban Meyer’s spread system. He finished fifth in last season’s Heisman vote and it would be no surprise to see him as a finalist for 2013. Ohio State will become bowl eligible for the 2013 season and the spotlight of gunning for a top tier bowl will only enhance Miller's campaign.
6. QB Jordan Lynch, Sr. 6-0 216, Northern Illinois Huskies
Lynch is a tough runner and gritty football player. By the way, he passes the ball too. Last year, NIU went all out on a Heisman campaign for Lynch and his coach even wrote a letter to Trophy voters. Being in the MAC, we all know it would be a longshot for him to win it, but it is not too farfetched to think that he may be making a trip to New York this December.
7. RB TJ Yeldon, So. 6-2 216, Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama consistently has a stable of strong capable running backs and Yeldon looks to be the lead horse this season for the Tide. He was the first Alabama true freshman to rush for over 100 yards in his opening game and broke the Tide's freshman rushing record.
8. RB/WR De'Anthony Thomas, Jr. 5-9 176, Oregon Ducks
Maybe more well known as the Black Mamba, Thomas is the only repeat player from last year’s preseason Dynamic Dozen Heisman Contenders. It will be interesting to see if the loss of coach Chip Kelly will limit his effectiveness any, but one thing is for sure which is his blazing speed that should lead to plenty more points on the board in 2013.
9. QB AJ McCarron, Sr. 6-4 210, Alabama Crimson Tide
Of course, McCarron's girlfriend Katherine Webb has grabbed most of the headlines, but he had an awesome outing in the stomping of Notre Dame during the BCS National Championship and he has consistently performed with few mistakes. He had a school record 30 passing touchdowns with just three interceptions in 2012-13.
10. WR Marqise Lee, Jr. 6-0 195, USC Trojans
Lee was the primary weapon for quarterback Matt Barkley and the Trojans in 2012, but now with Barkley moving on, 2013 will be even more of a challenge for the star wide receiver. He is also a track athlete and dynamic on special teams. If he continues to get the ball in space, he should have another stellar outing in 2013.
11. QB Aaron Murray, Sr. 6-1 210, Georgia Bulldogs
The Bulldog quarterback had a record season that went almost unnoticed by the mainstream. Murray set school records in single-season passing yards, total yards, and touchdowns. He has sound decision making ability and should thrive in his senior season, especially with the support of a strong running game.
12. WR Jordan Matthews, Sr. 6-3 205, Vanderbilt Commodores
Matthews is the all-around ideal package at wide receiver with good hands, size, and speed. Vanderbilt has an enthused program after a historic 2012 season, but they will be breaking in a new quarterback in 2013 so we will see how Matthews does with a different signal caller. However, expect a weapon like him to be targeted often this season.
*Statistics listed are from the 2012-13 season.
Just Outside the Dozen:
The nation's leading rusher for 2012, Arizona RB Ka'Deem Carey, would have made the list, but his recent off the field troubles with the law kept him off.