Here is my Pre-Season Heisman List. It’s a shot one right now, but these players all have a legit shot at it coming into the 2012 season:

1- Matt Barkley, QB, Southern Cal- Barkley will have to prove that he is the engine that makes the potent USC offense go, but he has all the weapons back to replicate his terrific junior season.
2- Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech- Many think Thomas is being overrated coming into the season, and perhaps to an extent that’s true, but Thomas will be expected to carry Virginia Tech’s offense this season until a true running back emerges. He’s got all the ability to do so, and I think he will surprise some people this year.
3- Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia- Smith has all the talent to be a top 10 pick and honestly has the highest NFL Draft grade of the top three quarterbacks on this list right now. He’s got weapons to throw to and that offense provides a lot of opportunities for big plays, so Smith will likely be a Heisman finalist.
4- Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan- Robinson has flirted with Heisman contention every year he has been the starter and this may be the year he puts it all together and gets serious consideration. His passing will have to improve, and that’s a question mark as always, but he’s the heart and soul of that Michigan offense and that means he will at least have a shot at the Heisman.
5- Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin- Ball was a finalist last year and if he doesn’t get worn down he should help support another ACC transplant at QB lead the Badgers to the Big-10 title game and potentially the Rose Bowl for a 3rd year in a row.
6- Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina- Lattimore is a special talent and if his knee is all the way healthy he has a great shot to be a Heisman finalist because he is the engine that makes the Gamecock offense go much like Ball is for Wisconsin’s offense.

There’s the list, keep an eye on them to see if they live up to the hype I’ve just given them!

–Tom