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Heisman watch 2013: Ducks' Mariota, Thomas figure to contend for trophy

Oregon's Marcus Mariota and De'Anthony Thomas could make waves in the race for the 2013 Heisman Trophy.

Steve Dykes

Less than 24 hours after Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel became the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy, two Oregon Ducks were already getting some buzz for possible runs at the trophy next season.

Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota and running back and all-purpose performer De'Anthony Thomas, who both had stellar seasons with Oregon, are certain to play a role in the chase for the 2013 trophy.

Mariota, along with UCLA Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley, was somewhat forgotten in the hoopla over Manziel's freshman season, but both quarterbacks shone brightly in their first years with their respective teams. Mariota finished the season with 2,511 yards passing and 30 touchdowns against just six interceptions while also rushing for 690 yards and four scores.

Thomas proved a key cog in the Ducks' successful season, contributing in the rushing attack, passing game and on returns. To go with more than 1,000 yards combined from scrimmage through the air and on the ground, Thomas returned one punt for a touchdown and combined for 491 return yards overall.

After their seasons, it's no surprise that the two figure heavily in early chatter around the web about the outlook for next season's trophy.