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Top 20 2014 Heisman Hopefuls

Another exciting season of college football is upon us and a whole new cast of game changers await our attention. Heisman hopefuls already have their school public relations departments pleading their cases to the football crazed public. It is not easy to predict who will win this most coveted prize, but every good race has its favorites and the Heisman Trophy race is no exception.

In the PAC-12 conference, it is the year of the quarterback while the SEC lost enough signal callers to make returning running backs more significant threats. As in any major race, the Heisman race also has its share of long shots from less than 'major' conference schools. Schools like Marshall, Navy and Utah State have some talented players who will be fun to watch.

The following players have enough skill and talent to make them contenders for the prestigious Heisman award.  Time for all the hype to begin and the season along with it.

Honorable Mention: Sean Mannion, QB - Oregon State, Derrick Henry, RB - Alabama, Braxton Miller, QB - Ohio State (Injured)

20 Rakeem Cato, QB - Marshall (Junior)

via sportsonearth.com

19 Myles Jack, LB/RB - UCLA (Sophomore)

via pac-12.com

18 Chuckie Keeton, QB - Utah State (Senior)

via jsonline.com

17 Keenan Reynolds, QB - Navy (Junior)

via baltimoresun.com

16 Everett Golson, QB - Notre Dame (Junior)

via gamedayr.com

15 Connor Cook, QB - Michigan State (Junior)

via latimes.com

14 Mike Davis, RB - South Carolina (Junior)

via bleacherreport.com

13 Duke Johnson, RB - Miami (Junior)

via espn.go.com

12 Taylor Kelly, QB - Arizona State (Senior)

via sports.downtowndevil.com

11 Nick Marshall, QB - Auburn (Senior)

via myajc.com

10 Taysom Hill, QB - BYU (Junior)

via universe.byu.edu

9 Ameer Abdullah, RB - Nebraska (Senior)

via omahasuntimes.com

8 T.J. Yeldon, RB - Alabama (Junior)

via ign.com

7 Jeremy Langford, RB - Michigan State (Senior)

via detroit.cbslocal.com

6 Melvin Gordon, RB - Wisconsin (Junior)

via jsonline.com

5 Todd Gurley, RB - Georgia (Junior)

via espn.go.com

4 Brett Hundley, QB - UCLA (Junior)

via thesportsbank.net

3 Bryce Petty, QB - Baylor (Senior)

via cleveland.com

2 Marcus Mariota, QB - Oregon (Junior)

via cleveland.com

1 Jameis Winston, QB - Florida State (Sophomore)

via wallpazer.com

The prohibitive favorite in this race has to be the winner from last year, Jameis Winston. All Winston did last year was lead a pretty much disrespected but undefeated 14-0 ACC team, Florida State, to a National Championship. Winston finished his freshman season with 4,057 yards passing and 40 touchdowns while also leading the Seminoles to the come from behind win against Auburn in the 2014 BCS National Championship Game. Florida State lost two solid receivers, Kelvin Benjamin and Kenny Shaw, but should have a good ground game led by Karlos Williams to support Winston's bid for a Heisman repeat.

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Top 20 2014 Heisman Hopefuls