Which dark horses could win Heisman?

Clemson QB Tajh Boyd could become a top Heisman contender with a strong start to the season. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Since 2000, a quarterback has won all but two Heisman Trophies. So there’s some predictability in that. However, as last season and Johnny Manziel reminded us, that QB can sometimes come from an unexpected place. It isn’t always the returning stud, recent history has shown.

In the search for a known but not a favorite for the award in 2013, Clemson’s Tajh Boyd started to really make sense. Evidently I’m not the only one who thinks so; in the past couple of weeks, the senior has gone from an 18-1 Heisman shot to 14-1 (according to Bovada sportsbook). Better nab him before he becomes one of the favorites by Labor Day.

Boyd headlines my list of dark-horse Heisman hopefuls, even as he moves toward more conventional thought. As for the others, I’ve devised some subcategories to help separate fringe contenders who could become bigger names as the season progresses.

Sleeper on the verge of waking voters

Tajh Boyd | QB | Clemson Tigers

Odds: 14-1

I’ve had more than one person -- and not just his QB instructor, George Whitfield -- tell me this summer that Boyd is the most complete quarterback in the country. And that’s in the best QB class anyone can recall. So, even relative to the competition, it was likely worth Boyd’s while to return for another year because I’m not sure draft analysts viewed him as that entering the combine season.