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Is Klein the Heisman Trophy frontrunner?

The K-State dual-threat QB is coming off of a strong performance against OU. Dave Miller

Print This September 23, 2012, 06:15 PM EST

With the National Football Post preparing to release its initial Heisman Trophy Watch list this week, which player — if any — stands above the rest as we head into Week 5 of the 2012 season?

Collin KleinUS PRESSWIREPerhaps no player is as important to his team as Collin Klein is to Kansas State.

Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein certainly is coming off of a strong performance Saturday night in Norman against Oklahoma. The dual-threat signal-caller completed a modest 13 passes on 21 attempts for 149 yards, but he rushed for another 79 yards and once again was the catalyst to a K-State win. The Wildcats' victory this weekend was huge considering they were blown out by the Sooners at home last fall.

No player from Kansas State has ever won the Heisman Trophy, but perhaps no player is as important to his team's success as the 6-5, 226-pound senior, who is completing 70 percent of his passes and has 10 total touchdowns this fall.

With USC's Matt Barkley taking a temporary back seat in the race after the Trojans' loss to Stanford, who else could be in the mix?

There's no question that West Virginia's Geno Smith, Ohio State's Braxton Miller and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater are strong contenders at the quarterback position. All three lead prolific offenses and are undefeated thus far.

At running back, Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas, Stanford's Stepfan Taylor and South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore are viable options to remain in the race all season long.

Defensively, can Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones or Notre Dame's Manti Te'o continue to make a case for a trip to New York?

Stay tuned to the NFP this week as it releases its initial list, which figures to be lengthy because we are only four weeks into the season and there remain a ton of top contenders.

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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