Not every recruiting class contains a future Heisman winner. Here are the last 10 Heisman winners and the classes that produced them:
Chris Weinke (1990*/1997)
Erich Crouch (1997)
Carson Palmer (1998)
Jason White (1999)
Matt Leinart (2001)
Reggie Bush (2003)
Troy Smith (2002)
Tim Tebow (2006)
Sam Bradford (2006)
Mark Ingram (2008)
* — Weinke originally signed with Florida State in 1990 but he embarked on a pro baseball career before returning to the Seminoles in 1997.
Recent classes missing out on Heismans: 2000, 2004, 2005, 2007 (so far).
With signing day in the books, here are the players from the class of 2010 (in no particular order) who I think have the best chance of competing for future Heismans:
Michael Dyer, RB, Auburn–Dyer is a slippery, low-to-the-ground runner who should immediately thrive in Gus Malzahn’s offense. I predict he will hit the 1,000-yard mark as a freshman (assuming health and qualification) and go on to a stellar career on the Plains.
Lache Seastrunk, RB, Oregon–I thought it was funny that reaction in the recruiting world to Seastrunk going to Oregon was rather muted. Said one coach to me “He’s going to Oregon–there must be something wrong with him.” Well, this is a guy who everyone wanted just a few months ago and now all of a sudden schools are poo-pooing him. I don’t buy it. This is one amazingly fast back who is perfect for the Chip Kelly scheme. He should be an instant star.
Mack Brown, RB, Florida–There haven’t been many ultra-productive running backs coming out of Urban Meyer’s offenses of late, but Brown could be the exception. He’s a nifty north-south runner who should thrive in the wide-open space of Meyer’s attack.
D.J. Morgan, RB, USC–Morgan could possibly redshirt his first season at USC due to an injury suffered his senior season. But once he gets healthy, he’ll be one of the more exciting players in the country. A legitimate track star (world junior champ in the high hurdles), he has the speed and moves to take it the distance on every play.
Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn–I was a big fan of Newton’s game when he went to Florida and I’m still high on him as he heads to Auburn. If he wins the starting job, he’ll throw for a lot of yards and touchdowns for the Tigers and could end up being one of the better quarterbacks in the SEC.
Devin Gardner, QB, Michigan–If Rich Rodriguez is to resurrect Michigan, he may need Gardner to come through sooner rather than later. Reminiscent of Vince Young and Terrelle Pryor physically and should be a great fit for the Wolverine offense. If he develops, watch out.
Andrew Hendrix, QB, Notre Dame–Hendrix is an underrated talent, with a very good arm and excellent athleticism. He could very well be the future for Notre Dame once Dane Crist’s eligibility expires. He looks like a typical Brian Kelly quarterback to me and that means he’ll be putting up big numbers one day.
Blake Bell, QB, Oklahoma–Bell is a raw talent with a lot of upside. It looks like he is tailor-made for the Oklahoma offense. Can really move his feet despite his 6-6 height. Keep an eye on him.
There’s my top Heisman guys from the class of 2010. It’s not an especially deep class as far as this list goes and it could well be that no Heisman winners emerge from this group. However, I think these guys I’ve listed have the best chance.