Who has the best chance to win the Heisman trophy this CFB season?
By: Adam Hulse (@AdamHulseSports)
The start of the college football season is now less than a month away. That means it is time to start looking at who the top contenders are for the Heisman Trophy this year. This long-running tradition of awarding the trophy to the top college football player in the country began in 1935 and will of course continue for the 2021 season. A quarterback has been the winner in 12 of the last 15 seasons and there is a very good chance that one of them will take home the award again this upcoming season. Here are the current top three candidates to win the Heisman Trophy this year.
1. QB Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma
According to the Draft Kings Sports Book, Spencer Rattler is the current favorite to win the award with a +600 betting line. Rattler is looking to become the third Oklahoma quarterback to win it in the last five years, joining Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield. Head Coach Lincoln Reilly has turned this program into a factory for quarterbacks and his offensive system really allows them to shine at the college level. Rattler has all of the tools to be the next Sooner star and his expectations are sky-high for the 2021 season.
After a slow start to the 2020 season, Rattler came alive and helped Oklahoma win their final eight games of the season. On the year, he completed 67.5 percent of his passes for 3031 yards and 28 touchdowns while also contributing an additional 6 rushing touchdowns. If he continues to progress as expected and fully utilizes the extremely quarterback-friendly system of Reilly to his advantage, Rattler is going to be a very special player this season. If all goes according to plan, he will not only be the front runner for the Heisman Trophy but also for the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft next year.
2. QB DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson
According to the Draft Kings Sports Book, DJ Uiagalelei is the second favorite to the Heisman Trophy at +750 betting odds. He has only started two games at Clemson so far, mostly serving as the backup to Trevor Lawrence, but that was enough for him to demonstrate his potential as one of the top quarterback prospects in the country. In those two games alone, he completed 59 of his 85 passes for 781 yards and 4 touchdowns against zero interceptions while also contributing an additional two touchdowns in the rushing game. Expectations are through the roof as he enters his first season as the starting quarterback.
Head Coach Dabo Swinney has built Clemson into one of the top college football programs in the entire country. They will enter this season as the second favorite behind only Alabama to win the National Championship. The team expectations for success, as well as the giant shoes to fill of Trevor Lawrence, are a very tall order but Uiagalelei has the talent to live up to them and a ton of weapons around him to help him achieve greatness. He is a massively sized quarterback at 6’4 and 250 pounds so he is built to dominate his opposition. If he can play for a full season the way he did for two games last year, he will surely be right in the mix to win the award.
3. QB D’Eriq King, Miami
According to the Draft Kings Sports Book, D’Eriq King has the seventh best odds to win the award with a +2000 betting line. This qualifies him as a bit of a sleeper pick and one that is an excellent value selection. King classifies as a traditional “college style” quarterback because of his relatively small size but astronomical athletic ability. Interestingly, this type of player was once seen as unfit for the NFL game but recently that theory has been proven wrong by the success of quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray. A true dual threat, but measuring at just 5’11 and 195 pounds, puts King in that same category in terms of style.
After spending four years in Houston, King transferred to Miami for the 2020 season and put up some excellent numbers. He completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 2686 yards and 23 touchdowns while adding another 538 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground. When combining his career passing and rushing numbers, he has totaled nearly 10,000 yards and over 100 touchdowns, and even more than that if his receiving totals are factored in as well. He is an absolutely electrifying player who could take another step forward this season now that he has had over a full year to settle in to his new system. If he does indeed do so, his name could be firmly planted in the Heisman Trophy winner discussion at the end of the season.