Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson creeping into 2012 Heisman race

Thearon W. Henderson - Getty Images

The Nevada running back already has 14 touchdowns on the season and could be the first back with 2,000 yards rushing since Matt Forte and Kevin Smith in 2007.

Nevada running back Stefphon Jefferson is showing up on the short lists for Heisman hopefuls, coming in at No. 10 on Cory McCartner's Heisman Watch on SI.com.

The junior out of El Diamante High School in California has put up remarkable numbers in seven games this season, with 1,140 yards rushing on 219 carries. Jefferson has also been used as a receiver out of the backfield in recent weeks, recording 139 yards receiving on 14 receptions so far this season.

Jefferson is on the map largely because of his touchdown production this season, scoring 14 touchdowns on the ground with one reception TD. The running back set an NCAA record with seven total touchdowns in a 69-24 victory over Hawaii on Sept. 22.

Says McCartner of the explosive back:

Could this be college football's next 2,000-yard rusher? Only 14 players have ever hit the plateau -- five of whom (Marcus Allen, Mike Rozier, Barry Sanders, Rashaan Salaam and Ricky Williams) own Heismans -- and no one has done it since Matt Forte and Kevin Smith in 2007. But Jefferson may soon join them. He's averaging 162.8 yards per game, and with a remaining schedule that includes four teams that rank 50th or worse against the run, and with the 6-1 Wolf Pack certain to play in a bowl game, Jefferson could easily join the exclusive club.

The Nevada Wolf Pack (6-1) take on San Diego State (4-3) this Saturday, Oct. 20, with coverage on CBS Sports Network. Nevada will also be facing No. 22 Boise State in the final game of the season on Dec. 1.

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