Paul Perkins on Las Vegas’ early shortlist of Heisman favorites

UCLA tailback Paul Perkins (24) runs during a 38-20 win over USC at the Rose Bowl on Nov. 22, 2014. Perkins finished the game with 93 yards and a touchdown. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA tailback Paul Perkins (24) runs during a 38-20 win over USC at the Rose Bowl on Nov. 22, 2014. Perkins finished the game with 93 yards and a touchdown.
(Keith Birmingham/Staff)

Despite becoming the Pac-12′s leading rusher, UCLA’s Paul Perkins settled for an all-conference honorable mention — shut out of the first and second teams in favor of four other tailbacks.

He might not stay under the radar much longer. Online sportsbook Bovada released some way-too-early Heisman Trophy odds this week, and the Bruins’ soon-to-be redshirt junior was given the fifth-best shot at college football’s preeminent award. The star tailback was listed with a 12-to-1 shot, tied with USC quarterback Cody Kessler and Georgia running back Nick Chubb.

The trio trailed Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott (6/1), Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott (7/1), LSU’s Leonard Fournette (7/1), and TCU’s Trevone Boykin (15/2).

Perkins figures to be the centerpiece of UCLA’s offense in 2015, as the Bruins to find a replacement for three-year starting quarterback Brett Hundley. The 5-foot-11, 198-pound back finished his first season as a starter with 1,575 yards, the second-highest single-season rushing total in school history.

See the full list of Heisman odds below, courtesy of Bovada: Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Mora: Anthony Barr deserves Heisman hype

Crank the Heisman hype machine.

UCLA head coach Jim Mora thinks linebacker Anthony Barr deserves a shot at football’s preeminent award, and he’s not shy about telling anyone and everyone.

“Absolutely. It should start,” Mora said Thursday. “UCLA needs to promote him, and I’m going to promote him, and he needs to go out and promote himself by going out and playing great and helping his team win.”

The only Bruin to have ever taken home the Heisman is quarterback Gary Beban, who won in 1967. More daunting is the trophy’s bias towards offense: Since Michigan’s Charles Woodson became the only primarily defensive player to win in 1997, quarterbacks and running backs have won 14 straight. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email