ACC Heisman Watch: Week 5

September, 25, 2012
9/25/12
10:30
AM ET
The ACC has itself a bona fide Heisman Trophy candidate, folks!

1. EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State. The blog has been on EJ overload, and for good reason. He put up the best performance of his career in a comeback win over Clemson this past weekend. When you play that way in a national spotlight game, people will sit up and take notice. The 482 yards of total offense he racked up against the Tigers ranks No. 3 in the nation among all players in all games through the first four weeks. For that reason, Manuel went from no love in the ESPN.com Heisman Watch last week all the way up to No. 2 in the latest update today. Manuel is still well behind West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, but he has passed players such as Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein and Oregon all-everything back De'Anthony Thomas. If Manuel keeps playing well and Florida State continues to win, he could have a seat reserved for him in New York City.

2. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson. Boyd was on the losing end of that game in Tallahassee, but he is still a player to keep an eye on as the season progresses. For one, Clemson still is nationally ranked and a team with a tremendous amount of talent. For another, Boyd did have some really nice plays against the Seminoles and led this team to a 28-14 lead into the third quarter. He finished with 237 yards passing, three touchdowns and a very costly interception in the second half, and I wouldn't completely count him out just yet. Boyd has 984 yards passing, nine touchdowns and two interceptions on the season.

3. Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson. The same goes for Watkins, who had a handful of dazzling plays against Florida State -- but not enough to make a difference in the game. Florida State did an exceptional job shutting him down in the pass game, as his six receptions went for only 24 yards. His best play was his 52-yard touchdown throw to Andre Ellington. If Watkins is to truly remain a part of the Heisman conversation, he needs bigger games from here on out.

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