ACC Football 2012 Heisman Watch: Week Three

Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins Has Absolutely Thrived In His Temporary Role as the Tigers’ Top Receiver

What appears below is a quasi-realistic (read: crapshoot) view of which ACC players could potentially win the sport’s highest honor, the Heisman trophy. We’re looking at these players with the typical lens — winning team, team’s best player, signature moment (TBD) and statistical excellence. And if every player in the ACC completely drops out of the running, then this turns into the Weinke award (after the conference’s most recent Heisman winner, Chris Weinke)…

1. DeAndre Hopkins, WR/Clemson (224 receiving yards, 4 TD) (LW: NR)

Rather than shrinking away from the spotlight that comes with being his team’s top receiving target (temporarily), Hopkins has completely embraced the role, and now finds his statistics among the best in the country. Who knows the type of dent these figures will take when star wideout Sammy Watkins rejoins Clemson this weekend — odds are a big one. But for now, Hopkins has his day as number one.

2. Ryan Nassib, QB/Syracuse (836 total yards, 7 total TD, 3 INT, 67 percent completion) (LW: NR)

Over a two week span, Nassib’s one of the few quarterbacks in the nation to go up against two major conference defenses. He’s also one of just two to average more than 400 passing yards per game. The SU senior’s numbers are impressive, but the fact that they’re against legitimate competition makes them downright outstanding. If his team continues losing games, however (currently 0-2), his chances drop tremendously.

3. Tajh Boyd, QB/Clemson (507 total yards, 4 passing TD, 1 INT, 75.4 percent completion) (LW: 1)

Obviously our number-one pick on this list didn’t get there all by himself. He needed someone to get him the ball. Tajh Boyd took a serious interest in improving his accuracy and decision-making this offseason, and thus far, it looks to have paid some serious dividends. Without Watkins, he’s not necessarily putting up the gaudy numbers he was at this point last year. But he is making winning plays for a 2-0 team looking to repeat as conference champs.

4. Logan Thomas, QB/Virginia Tech (468 total yards, 5 total TD, 0 INT, 59 percent completion) (LW: 2)

Despite the sleep-walk nature of the Hokies’ offense and Thomas’s low attempts number this Saturday, he still managed to have a much more efficient game (171.3 rating vs. 123.5) than the opener. If you’ll recall, though, last year also started out in less-than-spectacular fashion for the VPI QB, and he still finished the season with rave reviews and a dark horse Heisman candidacy.

5. Michael Campanaro, WR/Wake Forest (260 receiving yards, 1 TD)

The Demon Deacons have had plenty of questions on both sides of the ball already, though none of them have to do with Campanaro. If not for the solitary touchdown, the junior would be even higher up on this list. Playing a key part of last week’s win by snagging 13 catches, he’s already elevated his game to being Tanner Price‘s primary target and an impact player on every series.

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