Iowa State running back Mike Warren burst on to the college football scene as a redshirt freshman in 2015 by becoming a consensus freshman All-American and Big 12 offensive freshman of the year.
A big 2016 season could make Warren a national household name and Fox Sports is taking notice. Writer Dieter Kurtenbach included Warren on his list of 10 sleepers who could win the Heisman Trophy.
“The ultimate longshot: Warren ran for 1339 yards on 227 attempts last year, scoring only five touchdowns — decent numbers, but hardly Heisman marks,” Kurtenbach wrote. “But first-year coach Matt Campbell loves pounding the rock with feature backs. Iowa State has a chance to be a .500 team this year (seriously) and with a showcase Thursday night home contest against Oklahoma on Nov. 3, Warren has an opportunity to come out of nowhere and become a household name. He’s worth a buck waiver.”
Other notable names on the list include Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett and Iowa quarterback CJ Beathard. Kaaya has the best odds on the list at 50-to-1.
Warren is listed as having 500-to-1 odds to win the sport’s most coveted award.
There’s no doubt making his way into the Heisman conversation would require a pretty good bump in production, but it is still pretty cool to see a Cyclone coming up in the national conversation like this.