The fourth installment of our SEC Heisman Watch features four legitimate contenders after the first month of the season:
- Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State: Prescott’s debut in the Heisman picture was quite emphatic, a fantastic individual performance inside LSU’s Tiger Den. The Tigers have only given up 100 yards rushing to three quarterbacks during Les Miles’ tenue — Cam Newton (2010) and Prescott, twice. As long as the Bulldogs keeping winning, Prescott will be at the front of the player of the year discussion regardless of the lack of national media attention in Starkville.
- Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama: Blake Sims’ favorite target became Alabama’s all-time leader in receiving touchdowns and compiled his third double-digit catch outing in four games, doing it all against what was perceived to be one of the best defenses in the country. Cooper leads FBS in catches (43) and yards (655) this season.
- Kenny Hill, QB, Texas A&M: This sophomore’s actually human? Hill tossed his first pick of the season at SMU and was kept under 275 yards through the air for the first time as a starter. He did manage to break loose for a 58-yard run and added two touchdowns to his West-leading passing tally.
- Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia: You can’t fault Georgia’s coaching staff for sitting Gurley in the first quarter of Saturday’s 66-0 snoozer against Troy, but it hurts his chances based on overall numbers. In two series of action, Gurley averaged 12.2 yards per carry, but trotted to the sideline inside the 5 and failed to reach the end zone for the first time this season. Stat-padding isn’t smart in the SEC against cupcakes given Gurley’s injury history.
- Maty Mauk, QB, Missouri: Losses to Indiana don’t sit well with Heisman voters, but there’s still plenty of marquee games coming up for Mauk to play his way back into the picture. A win at South Carolina at Saturday with solid numbers would be a great start.