Top Candidates Joel Perry, HB - Arizona State Last year's Heisman Trophy winner returns for his senior season and appears poised to defend his crown. The three-year starter comes into the season with 4,966 rushing yards and 62 touchdowns to go with 2,990 kickoff return yards and four more touchdowns. There is a new coach and new offense in Tempe so there is an unknown element in there. However, the new regime has to have getting the ball in Perry's hand their #1 priority. Cory Waters, HB - Georgia Tech Waters was neck-and-neck with Perry in the Heisman race for much of last season. However, an ankle injury derailed his season. Waters returns following back-to-back 1,889 and 1,901 yard seasons and cannot be counted out in this year's race. Chris Tate, HB - Temple Tate emerged last year as one of the nation's top running backs with a 1,697 yad, 17 touchdown performance. He is a big, powerful back who punishes defenses with his bruising style. Outside of Perry and Waters everyone else is considered an also-ran but Tate's numbers suggest he is on the conversation. Dwight Andrews, HB - Cal Like Tate, Andrews is another bruising back that likes to punish defenders. His 1,422 yard, 17 touchdown season was among the best in the country a year ago. Although it is only an outside chance, Andrews is capable of making a push for the trophy. Wade Espinosa, HB - Auburn Yet another power back behind the explosive duo at the top. Espinosa was a monster in the red zone (18 touchdowns) to go with a respectable 20 receptions. He has unique athleticism for a back his size (6-0, 245) and possesses similar power rushing skills to the two backs listed above him. Espinosa is certainly the dark horse in this race but one to certainly keep an eye on. Honorable Mention: Joseph Freeman, HB - Mississippi State Freeman has good size (6-0, 229) to go with elite (4.3) speed. He will get his first chance to start this year after averaging 6.7 yards per carry and 18.6 yards per reception as a backup in his career. Bobby Campbell, HB - TCU The fifth-year senior is entering his fourth season as at least the co-starter in Fort Worth. Two seasons ago Campbell rushed for 1,400 yards and 18 touchdowns to help lead TCU to their third-straight national title. He wound up splitting time with only 117 carries a year ago but enters the season with a 7.1 yards per carry average and 37 career touchdowns. If he is given the opportunity to carry the load by himself, his combination of size (6-2, 240) and speed (4.4) could vault him onto the Heisman list. Billy Barrett, QB - LSU Barrett possesses an elite arm and is a polished passer for only having been in college for one year. Last season as a freshman, Barrett threw for 3,639 yards and 25 touchdowns. While the LSU attack is diverse and his lacks the running skills of your typical Heisman quarterback, his skills and the weapons around him could propel him into the race as the year progresses. Brennan Hearn, QB - Illinois Likely a first-round draft pick in next year's NFL draft, Hearn has ll the tools to be an elite passer. Last year he broke out with a 4,020 yard, 32 touchdown performance. Playing in an up tempo, pass first offense could help him sneak into the Heisman conversation as the year progresses. While not swift of foot, Hearn has shown the ability to run with the ball as well compiliing 828 yards and six touchdowns on the ground for his career. Luke Henry, QB - TCU Henry was a backup to freshman Robert Johnson two years ago during TCU's title reign. However, the sophomore unseated Johnson a year ago and put up 26 passing touchdowns to go with 603 rushing yards. Henry is the type of mobile quarterback that Heisman voters like and he plays in an offense that could see him put up 30+ touchdowns through the air and 800+ yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. Those type of numbers would be hard for Heisman voters to overlook.