Video: 2016 Heisman front runners - Way Back When
This quintet is everywhere: social media, magazine stands and college football chat rooms
Here are five of the biggest 2016 Heisman Trophy favorites, who seemed only yesterday were starring on local high school fields.
Combining recruiting projections, statistics and awards, here are how these five ranked as prep sensations. 1. Leonard Fournette (LSU)
The consensus No. 1 recruit from the Class of 2014, the 6-foot-1, 226-pound junior running back rushed for 7,619 career yards at St. Augustine (New Orleans)
and 88 touchdowns. As a senior he showed off his pass catching too with 45 catches, 745 yards and six more scores. He was an easy MaxPreps first-team all-American selection in 2013.
2. DeShaun Watson (Clemson)
Recruiting guru Tom Lemming ranked the dual threat quarterback as the No. 3 player overall from the Class of 2014, but 247Sports had him at No. 41. Everyone had him as top dual-threat quarterback,however, after he set state records at Gainesville (Ga.)
by amassing 17,134 total yards and 218 touchdowns. He passed for 13,077 and 155 scores and rushed for 4,057 and tallied 63 more scores. He led Gainesville to its first state title in more than 100 years. 3. Christian McCaffrey (Stanford)
Rated the 70th overall recruit from the Class of 2014, the all-purpose back did a lot of everything at Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
leading his team to the last of five straight state titles. The 6-foot, 197-pound back also played receiver, defensive back and punter.
He was three-time State Player of the Year and the state record holder
in career points (848), touchdowns (141) and all-purpose yards (8,845).
4. Dalvin Cook (Florida State)
Cook was ranked the second-best running back in the 2014 class behind Fournette, but led Central (Miami)
to a state title. His prep numbers weren't enormous because he shared the rushing load with Joseph Yearby, now starring at Miami. They made up probably the country's best rushing tandem. Cook rushed for 4,267 yards and 64 touchdowns while leading Central to a 52-5 record over four seasons.
5. Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)
The former Lake Travis (Austin, Texas)
standout was featured here earlier this week — see story
— during Big 12 media day. His Sooners are favored to win the conference largely because of Mayfield, who threw for 6,235 yards and 67 touchdowns (with just eight interceptions) in two seasons while leading Lake Travis to a 25-2 record and a state title. Mayfield wasn't much of a recruit — No. 989 overall and No. 40 as a pro-style quarterback — from the Class of 2013. He walked on at Texas Tech before transferring to Oklahoma.