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Daniel Jeremiah: Don't count Anthony Barr out of Heisman race

  • By Dan Parr
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UCLA QB Brett Hundley has a chance to position himself as a Heisman finalist, but he's not the only Bruin staring at an opportunity to earn an invite to New York City for the trophy presentation.

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah said on the College Football 24/7 podcast that UCLA LB Anthony Barr is also a darkhorse to put himself in the Heisman conversation if he strings together dominant performances at Stanford and at Oregon in the next two weeks.

"What happens if Anthony Barr wrecks shop against Stanford and is the difference in that game?" Jeremiah said. "Maybe we get a defensive player in the mix.

"I think (UCLA has) what you need in terms of the high-profile games to try to elevate somebody into that conversation."

Prior to Notre Dame's Manti Te'o finishing second to Johnny Manziel last season, a linebacker had not cracked the top five in Heisman voting since Brian Bosworth in 1986. We have to go back to the 1950s to find the last time defensive players made the top five in consecutive seasons -- Oklahoma's Jerry Tubbs in 1956 and Iowa's Alex Karras in '57. Charles Woodson is the only primarily defensive player to win the Heisman (1997), but he also played wide receiver for Michigan.

The odds are not exactly in Barr's favor, but it's not as if anyone expected discussions about him surpassing Jadeveon Clowney as the nation's top defensive prospect this season, either.

NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt ranks Barr as the top senior in college football, and Stanford coach David Shaw, who will try to scheme ways to block Barr on Saturday, thinks he's a Freak.

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