Heisman Radar: Season Sleepers On the Gridiron

Everyone knows who Johnny Manziel, Braxton Miller and Jadeveon Clowney are, but there are many more players who are flying under the radar. These are my favorite players who are on very few peoples’ Heisman lists.

Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor

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I have no idea why he isn’t getting very much attention. Before the Holiday Bowl last season Seastrunk said, “I know I am the best back in the country.” He backed that up by rushing for 138 yards and a touchdown against a UCLA defense that had Datone Jones and Anthony Barr. Jones was a first round draft pick and Barr is projected to be drafted very high next season.

If Seastrunk can dominate this season like he thinks he can, nothing will stop him from bringing Baylor its second Heisman trophy winner. Seastrunk originally played for Oregon and was a blue chip recruit. With Lamichael James, De’Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner also at Oregon, Seastrunk left to find playing time of his own.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington

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At 6-6 and 266 pounds, not many college players can stop Seferian-Jenkins. Entering his junior season, he already has 110 career catches for 1390 yards and 13 touchdowns. The only thing holding him back is his DUI in March. He got sentenced to a 363 day suspended jail sentence. It was just one mistake and in a recent statement he said, “I want everyone to know how sorry I am for the disappointment and embarrassment I have caused. I especially want to apologize to my teammates, my coaches and particularly my family.” He has since started walking almost everywhere. The responsibility he has shown is amazing.

Last season Seferian-Jenkins finished third for the Mackey award which is given annually to college football’s top tight end. If he doesn’t get suspended he should win it this year in a landslide. Suspension or no suspension, Austin is good enough to hear his name called early in the draft next year and I, along with everyone else, would love to see what he can do this year if he plays every game.

Adam Muema, RB, San Diego State

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Muema is a beast. He is on his way to becoming the second best running back in school history behind only Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk. As a freshman Muema averaged 6 yards per carry and as a sophomore that number rose to 6.2 yards per carry. Against Wyoming in the final game of the regular season, Muema rushed for 255 yards on 26 carries and four touchdowns. I don’t know what is more impressive, the incredible 9.8 yards per carry or the four touchdowns.

He came out of nowhere too. I went to SDSU and I didn’t know who he was until midway through his freshman season when Ronnie Hillman had an injury. Against number ten Boise State, Muema had 119 yards, two touchdowns and only 13 carries. Hillman only carried the ball three times that game because of an injury. It won’t surprise me one bit when Muema finishes top five in the Heisman. The only running backs who could have better seasons are Lache Seastrunk and De’Anthony Thomas. Overall, I think Muema will finish behind Seastrunk but ahead of Thomas.

Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas

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Jeffcoat missed the last seven games of last season due to a right pectoral injury. Otherwise he would probably be in NFL training camp right now. He is on every major defensive award watch list around the country, but he doesn’t get enough respect. Jackson was ranked as the 12th best player in the nation his senior year of high school. He chose Texas and by his sophomore season, he made a major impact with eight sacks. In the first six games of 2012, Jeffcoat recorded four sacks and eleven tackles for a loss before his season ending injury.

Jeffcoat’s father, Jim, was a former NFL great. Jim was a first round pick, had over 100 career sacks, and won two super bowl rings with the Dallas Cowboys. Jeffcoat looks to start his career like his father by being a first round pick. CBS sports writer Rob Rang projects Jeffcoat to be drafted tenth overall. Matt De Lima of fftoolbox.com says that Jeffcoat is “A physical player, plays with a chip on his shoulder. Aggressive first contact. Not a liability against the run.”


You can follow Thomas Frey on Twitter: @ThomasFreyRP

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