ESPN unveils first edition of 2013 Heisman Trophy Watch List

Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Once again, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner will be returning (fingers crossed) to the college game for a crack at repeating. Can Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel manage to do what no one else has done except for Ohio State’s Archie Griffith in 1974 and 1975?

The experts at ESPN officially released the first edition of their annual Heisman Trophy Watch List, and they do not think so – although they do believe that history may be made in 2013.

No exclusively defensive player has ever taken home the nation’s most prestigious award, but South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has the type of ability to be the very first. ESPN’s panel (Andrea Adelson, Edward Aschoff, Brian Bennett, Rece Davis, Heather Dinich, Matt Fortuna, Kevin Gemmell, Travis Haney, Chris Low, Ivan Maisel, Ted Miller, Dari Nowkhah, Adam Rittenberg, Mark Schlabach, Brandon Chatmon and Jake Trotter) believe it may happen.

1. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina Gamecocks
2. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State Buckeyes
3. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M Aggies
4.AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama Crimson Tide
5. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon Ducks
6. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville Cardinals
7. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson Tigers
8. Marqise Lee, WR, USC Trojans
9. Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor Bears
10. T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama Crimson Tide
11. De’Anthony Thomas, RB/WR, Oregon Ducks
12. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia Bulldogs
13. Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA Bruins
14. Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia Bulldogs

The first thing to stand out after seeing Clowney at No. 1 is who is all the way down at No. 14. Georgia’s Aaron Murray is primed to break several career SEC passing marks as a senior, and one would assume that besting the numbers of such former stars as Danny Wuerffel would garner a bit more Heisman love.

Lache Seastrunk is the top running back on the list. After transferring from Oregon to Baylor, Seastrunk did not play much until breaking out late in 2012 with 100-plus yards in five of the team’s final six games. However, the Ducks’ De’Anthony Thomas is arguably the nation’s most electrifying playmaker and Alabama’s TJ Yeldon is expected to be the best running back on the nation’s best team.

The SEC boasts a high of six players on the list. The Pac-12 has four, the Big Ten, ACC, Big 12 and AAC all have one

What do you think about ESPN’s fist Heisman Watch? Let us know in the comments section below!