The 2014 College Football season will begin in just over a month and already, as many predicted, the battle for player of the year in 2014 seems to be focusing in on two particular players. Oregon Ducks Quarterback Marcus Mariota and Florida State Quarterback Jameis Winston. Entering the season it is clear that Winston had the better season in 2013, but he was also healthy. Mariota and Winston were at pretty much a draw at the end of October before Mariota fell off the map with a leg injury, which he did play through, but the loss at Stanford on the Farm gave the Florida State Signal caller all the attention. Of course, winning a National Title did not hurt either.
Late last week the Walter Camp Player of the Year Watch List was released and Winston was among those to top the list, along with Mariota. There was another Oregon Ducks player on the list in Cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu who is deserving in his own right following a stellar 2013 season. One other name from the Pac-12 Conference and UCLA Quarterback Brett Hundley will also have something to prove for the 2014 season made the list, and will have his opportunity to take care of business against Oregon this season.
The Davey O’Brien Awards Watch List for the Best Quarterback in the Country also had Winston and Mariota on the list, along with Hundley, Baylor Quarterback Bryce Petty, Ohio State QB Braxton Miller, and Oregon State Quarterback Sean Mannion. On the O’Brien Watch List there were fifty-three names in contention to be whittled down throughout the season. With the Watch Lists now out one thing is clear. At the Quarerback position two names will likely be the storyline again in 2014 with Mariota and Winston looking to lead their respective teams to the College Football Playoff and a National Title.
The Oregon Ducks kick off the 2014 regular season hosting South Dakota on August 30th at Autzen Stadium. Opening kickoff is slated for 7:30pm PT on the Pac-12 Networks,