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He's a traditional pocket passer, which isn't the perfect fit for coach Urban Meyer's spread-option offense, but he has a year of experience with the system and a strong arm. Leak will be pushed by hotshot freshman Tim Tebow, but the competition should make him better.
Though he scored six TDs against Louisville and ran for a Sugar Bowl--record 204 yards against Georgia, Slaton is at a big disadvantage in name recognition compared with the rest of these candidates. The Mountaineers need to stay in the top 10 for him to have a shot at the trophy. And they might just do that.
His performance in the Fiesta Bowl last season--racking up 408 yards of total offense and outplaying Notre Dame's Quinn in a 34--20 Buckeyes victory--put him in the Heisman picture. If Smith stays there, it will be because of his ability to turn broken plays into big ones, a la Vince Young.
Cal's quiet but explosive running back has the tools--and the supporting cast--to win the most coveted award in college football