Northwest Sports Beat

PAC 12 Northwest teams’ players with early 2014 Heisman odds

NW Heisman hopefuls

The Northwest is full of talented players when it comes to college football. The Pac-12 is known for its speed and athleticism, and it’s as fun a conference to watch as there is in the NCAA.

The question is, can the Northwest produce a legitimate Heisman contender in the 2013 season?

That question, of course, won’t be answered until the year begins, but it’s never too early to speculate on the odds the Northwest’s more prominent players.

Honorable Mention

Keith Price Washington Huskies

Washington’s O-Line will play a big role in Keith Price’s Heisman campaign. (Photo: Bettina Hansen/The Seattle Times)

Thomas Tyner

The Heisman Pundit has yet to announce its list of 2014 Heisman hopefuls, but it has compiled a directory of future candidates from the 2013 recruiting class. There’s a lot of talent on the list, but only one Northwest product.

As the fastest running back in the class, Thomas Tyner is going to be given an opportunity to play right away for the Oregon Ducks. Not only is he fast, having run a 10.43 in the 100 meter (as just a sophomore in high school), but he stands a solid 6’0” tall.

Thomas Tyner would have to have a huge season to enter the Heisman race in 2013, but look out for him sooner rather than later.

2013 Heisman Candidates

Keith Price: N/A (via GTbets.eu)

Keith Price deserves to be on the list of Northwest Heisman hopefuls, but he’s going to have to live up to his full potential.

The 2012 season was supposed to be his year. The Washington Huskies quarterback has all the talent in the world, but he’s yet to put it on full display. If the Huskies can block for him in 2013, it’s going to be a huge step in the right direction.

The good news for Keith Price is that the team is returning four of the five starters from the offensive line. More time together can only improve their chances of a better season, and when Price is given the time to make plays, he can torch a defense from start to finish.

Marcus Mariota: 25 to 1 (via GTbets.eu)

The big question for Oregon entering the 2012 season was, who will play quarterback? Needless to say, Chip Kelly and his coaching staff made the right choice, as Marcus Mariota has established himself as a legitimate Heisman candidate heading into just his second season.

Thomas Mariota Oregon Ducks

Marcus Mariota and De’Anthony Thomas will be Heisman candidates in 2013. (Photo: AP/Ted S. Warren)

Marcus Mariota is the perfect example of a dual-threat quarterback. He can stand his ground in the pocket while he looks down field, but he’s as slippery as it gets when it comes to escaping defenders and running for his life.

The problem for Mariota won’t be his talent; it will be the absence of Chip Kelly. The former Oregon coach has taken his talent to the NFL, and with fewer fourth-down calls and the potential for a less-furious pace, it will be interesting to watch if the talent of the kid can thrive in an altered system from what he’s used to.

De’Anthony Thomas: 8 to 1 (via GTbets.eu)

De’Anthony Thomas entered the 2012 season as one of the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy. However, an incredible start to the year quickly began to go unnoticed, as the rest of the Oregon offense began to take over.

So why should we expect 2013 to be any different? De’Anthony Thomas is now the No. 1 option, and he’ll be given the stage to truly break out in his junior season.

Thomas is arguably the fastest player in all of college football. The Ducks have indicated that they won’t use him as an every-down back despite the absence of Kenjon Barner, but he’ll be given the opportunity to make plays in the backfield, in the slot and in the special teams game after game.

Don’t expect the Ducks to shy away from Thomas the way they have in the past, and don’t be surprised if the junior is headed to New York when it’s all said and done.

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About Bryant Knox

NWSB Editor. Portland native and Oregon graduate, On a non-stop mission to consume as much Ducks+Trail Blazers content as humanly possible. His love of sports is what attracts him to the game, passion for writing drives him to uncover the stories. Connect w/ Bryant today!
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