The 2014 Heisman Trophy Race Is Down to 3 Players

The Heisman Trophy is the most prestigious individual honor a college football player can receive. Winning the Heisman doesn’t guarantee players riches or NFL success, but it does make them instant college football legends.

In 2014, three players have stood out above the rest. Here’s a look at the top three candidates for the 2014 Heisman Trophy.

1.  Marcus Mariota, quarterback, Oregon

2014 statistics:

  • 68.6% completion percentage
  • 3,470 passing yards
  • 36 touchdown passes
  • 2 interceptions
  • 190.2 passer rating
  • 107 carries
  • 636 rushing yards
  • 11 rushing touchdowns

Mariota is the overwhelming favorite to win the 2014 Heisman Trophy, but he will need to have a solid performance in the Pac-12 Championship game against Arizona, the only team that has beaten Oregon this year, to seal the deal.

2.  Melvin Gordon, running back, Wisconsin

2014 statistics:

  • 283 carries
  • 2,260 rushing yards
  • 8 yards per carry
  • 26 rushing touchdowns
  • 17 receptions
  • 151 receiving yards
  • 3 touchdown receptions

Gordon has put up ridiculous numbers in 2014 and has a legitimate chance at eclipsing both the 2,500 rushing yard and 30 rushing touchdown milestones by the end of the Badgers’ season. Gordon already has better stats than previous Heisman-winning running backs and will more than likely be the top challenger to Mariota in the race for the 2014 Heisman Trophy.

3.  Amari Cooper, wide receiver, Alabama

2014 statistics:

  • 103 receptions
  • 1,573 receiving yards
  • 14 touchdown receptions

Cooper is a long shot to win the 2014 Heisman Trophy at this point, but he really helped himself with his 13-catch, 224-yard performance this past week in Alabama’s Iron Bowl win over Auburn. Cooper’s numbers this season compare favorably to the only other two wide receivers to win the Heisman, Tim Brown in 1987 and Desmond Howard in 1991, but they likely aren’t enough for him to receive any first-place votes in the official Heisman Trophy balloting.