Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder has been getting a lot of the Heisman hype this offseason, but he’s hardly the ACC's only viable candidate for college football’s most prestigious award. Of course, in order for anyone to have a legitimate shot at it, he has to be playing for a winning team. In fact, he probably has to win the ACC title. Based on talent alone, though, here are the ACC’s top Heisman candidates:
FSU quarterback Christian Ponder: He led the ACC with 321.8 yards per game, despite missing the final four games with a shoulder injury. He finished with 2,717 yards, 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams: He rushed for a school-record 1,655 yards, also an ACC freshman record. He scored 22 touchdowns, including 21 rushing – ACC records for both. The 21 rushing touchdowns tied an NCAA record for a freshman.
N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson: He led the ACC and ranked fourth nationally last season with 31 touchdown passes. He had 3,287 yards of total offense in 2009, the third-best mark in school history. He ranked third in the ACC in passing efficiency with 137.8.
Miami quarterback Jacory Harris: He has to cut down on his 17 interceptions, but he threw for more than 3,000 yards last season and 24 touchdowns. He ranked third in the ACC in passing average per game with 263.7.
Georgia Tech quarterback Joshua Nesbitt: He is the most prolific rushing quarterback in school history (2,079 yards), and needs 739 more to become the top rushing quarterback in ACC history. The question is whether or not voters will hold Paul Johnson’s spread option offense against him, but the Jackets are expected to pass the ball more this season. The website Nesbitt4Heisman.com will be unveiled at 2 p.m. today. More on that later.