Heisman Top 10: Big 12 Heisman Contenders


10. Iowa State RB Mike Warren

Mike Warren’s freshman campaign is arguably the most impressive from a Cyclone running back since Troy Davis completed back-to-back 2,000-yard seasons in the late 1990s.

Davis finished fifth in the Heisman vote in 1995, and was runner-up to Florida’s Danny Wuerffel in 1996, despite playing for struggling Iowa State teams. Warren would need to overcome a similar disadvantage, as new head coach Matt Campbell has a pretty sizable rebuilding project ahead of him.

The good news for Warren is that Campbell brings a system to Ames that prominently showcased standout rushers previously at Toledo. In 2014, Kareem Hunt went for 16 touchdowns and more than 1,600 yards. David Fluellen reached pay dirt 13 times in 2012 and finished a hair below 1,500 yards. Both were also essential to the Rockets’ passing attack.

Warren will have opportunities to rack up monster stats. Should he do so at a nation-leading pace, and help the Cyclones to an upset or two, he could be an intriguing dark horse Big 12 Heisman candidate.

9. Texas RB D’Onta Foreman

A silver lining on the cloud that was Texas’ sub-.500 finish a year ago: D’Onta Foreman’s breakthrough performance at running back.

In limited duty (just 95 carries in 10 games), Foreman rolled off 681 yards — an impressive 7.17 YPC clip. That puts him not far off the pace of Florida State’s Dalvin Cook.

Foreman boasts at least one statistic comparable to a Heisman-caliber running back, and the body type of another. His size and strength bring to mind — advanced apologies, Longhorns faithful — Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine.