Can Will Levis win the Heisman?

Who will win the Heisman?

By: Brock Wells

Kentucky rolled past Miami (OH) in Week One 37-13. One of the reasons for this decisive victory was the play of quarterback Will Levis. By game’s end, Levis put together a 21/32, 303-yard, three-touchdown effort. The quarterback who transferred to Kentucky from Penn State back in 2020 has the Wildcats considered a favorite to compete for the second spot in the SEC East Division again this season, after going 10-3 last season.

The question has been asked by some whether Levis is capable of winning the Heisman Trophy. This is an interesting question for a couple of reasons. Talentwise, he’s clearly capable of standing alongside other players who are thought of as Heisman candidates. But that alone doesn’t mean he’ll be in a position to win the award. Kentucky has to prove itself to be a team that can compete on the national stage.

Since 2000, just one Heisman Trophy winner was part of a team that finished outside the top 15 in the final AP poll. That player was Lamar Jackson of Louisville in 2016, a team that ended the season ranked 21st in the final AP poll. Jackson was also so astonishingly good that season that the voting committee had virtually no choice but to give him the award. Last season, Kentucky finished at #18 in the final AP poll.

Levis will find himself in a number of games his team has to win, or at least play quite well in if he’s going to have any shot at winning the Heisman. This starts Saturday when the Wildcats head into Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators who are fresh off an impressive win against a favored Utah team. Levis needs to look convincing in this game. He also could benefit from missing a week of giving up interceptions to sweeten that Heisman offering as well.

The biggest thing for Levis is to take care of business in a convincing fashion every week, avoid making too many mistakes, and win the big games. Kentucky has got to beat Florida. They’ve got to beat Ole Miss and Tennessee. Then, there’s the massive game against defending national champion Georgia on November 19th. The Bulldogs will likely be heavily favored in that game, but if Levis plays well and somehow the Wildcats can pull off an upset, it isn’t impossible to think he becomes one of the favorites to win the Heisman.

The Georgia game is over two months away, though. For now, Levis needs to make sure he looks extraordinary in each game and that Kentucky is in a position to win every single week, which they came closer to accomplishing last season than many people thought possible. But that was last year. This season is an all-new challenge.

Georgia has reloaded and is ready to take the SEC East Division once again. Kentucky’s got to take care of prior business first, checking in 10-1 or so for the Georgia game, then Levis just might control his own destiny, depending, of course, on where Ohio State and Alabama’s quarterbacks find themselves. This is going to be a difficult task. It would mean asking something of the Kentucky football program it hasn’t given since its last national championship in 1950. But strange things regularly happen in college football.

What went wrong with Oregon?

Why did Oregon crumble?

By: Brock Wells

There were a number of good games over the weekend in college football, starting the season off in spectacular fashion. Oregon – Georgia was definitely not one of those games. In a final score of 49-3, Georgia absolutely pummeled the Ducks, who were entirely outmatched, seemingly unprepared, sloppy, and straight up hapless in their efforts. Even more than that, they made the Pac-12 look foolish in a high-profile matchup against the mighty SEC, a showdown which the SEC also got the best of in the Utah – Florida game.

So, what actually happened. Well, a lot of things. First off, quarterback Bo Nix threw zero touchdowns and two interceptions. The most rushing yards for the team in the game belonged to Sean Dollars, who accomplished this by going for just 33 yards on four carries. Not a single Oregon player had double digit rushing attempts. Similarly, no wide receiver for the team had more than four receptions. The offense on the whole looked woefully confused.

The Pac-12 isn’t entirely out of the national championship picture, thanks to a commanding performance by USC against Rice, but Oregon had their hopes irreparably damaged in such a blowout loss. Few, if any, analysts and experts had predicted the Ducks to beat the Bulldogs, but none of them could honestly say they expected such a massive mismatch from the game. The Georgia defense doesn’t look to have lost a step at all from last season’s outfit, which was one of the best defenses in the history of college football.

It makes no sense to me that Oregon would refuse to make substitutions in a game so awfully lopsided. Surely, they wouldn’t have faired any worse by allowing backup quarterback Ty Thompson to come into the game. Nix clearly didn’t have it in him, and while it’s unclear whether this was a Week One aberration that will go away in the coming weeks, Thompson would’ve offered Oregon with the fresh blood in a game that was out of reach pretty early. The coaching staff owed it to the team to do their best to get a spark going in an otherwise hopeless situation. This lack of pride from the Ducks may have been even more shocking than the lopsided final score.

The SEC is clearly the best conference in college football. All fans know that, even ones who stump for other top tier conferences. But there’s no reason why a Pac-12 powerhouse program should get wiped off the map against a powerhouse SEC program. Time will tell in the coming weeks just how impressive Georgia’s win was. Oregon didn’t look like a team worthy of a ranking as the 11th best team in the country.

Equally as dismal as Oregon’s offense was the defensive effort. The defense mustered zero sacks, zero interceptions, and practically zero pass rush up front at all. Georgia was forced to punt just once throughout the duration of the game. The secondary struggled in particular against Stetson Bennett’s passing game.

Game Stats:

  • Georgia: 439 passing yards, 132 rushing yards, 9.2 yards per play
  • Oregon: 173 passing yards, 140 rushing yards, 4.6 yards per play

Georgia was in practically zero need of a running game during the game because of the success of Stetson Bennett and the Bulldogs passing game. Oregon isn’t going to face too many offenses as opposing as Georgia’s throughout the rest of the season, but their secondary has got to do a better job of covering the deep ball, or it could turn out to be a long season for this team as they find that their loss to Georgia will be accompanied by others.

7 takeaways from Alabama’s Week 1 victory

Latest takeaways from Alabama’s victory on Saturday

By: Jake Rajala

The Alabama Crimson Tide, also known as the alpha team in college football, mopped the floor against the Utah State Aggies in Week 1 by a score of 55-0. It was clear that Utah State needed Herb Brooks to have a chance against the Nick Saban-led CFB team. With that said, I’m going to unwine 7 takeaways from Alabama’s Week 1 victory.

  • Bryce Young (passing)

The Bama field general Bryce Young clearly had his wheaties on Saturday morning. He unleashed a whopping 5 passing touchdowns against Utah State. It was clearly a great start for his Heisman chances in 2022. There were only three occasions last season where he threw five touchdowns.

  • Bryce Young (rushing)

The Bama QB flexed his ability to dazzle with his legs on Saturday – as he unveiled five rushing attempts for 100 rushing yards 1 rushing TD. Young has clocked a 4.4 time before – which compares well to RG3’s 40 time (4.41).

  • Traeshon Holden

The stud wideout for Young was none other than Traeshon Holden, who ousted 70 yds and 2 TDs on Saturday. The 6’3 220 lb wideout registered 239 yds and 21 catches a season ago. With Jameson Williams in the NFL (with the Detroit Lions), Holden is expected to be a star WR for Saban.

  • Jermaine Burton

Holden didn’t hog all of the fun at WR on Saturday – as Jermaine Burton hauled in a pair of touchdowns. Burton should plan to play in the NFL after his third season. He registered 497 yds in 2021 and 404 yards in 2020.

  • Jahmyr Gibbs

The next 1,000+ yard RB in the Alabama offense should undoubtedly be Jahmyr Gibbs. He can flat out run. The junior half-back capped off 93 rushing yards on 9 attempts on Saturday. I don’t expect him to maintain a 10.3 YPC, but he should have a monster 2022 campaign.

  • zero sacks

The Bama passing offense was blazing hot (without needing an ambulance), but they didn’t generate a ton of success in pressuring opposing QBs. The Bama defense ousted zero sacks. Although, they did nicely have four QB hurries. Furthermore, they had five tackels for loss.

  • Jalen Milroe

The Bama QB2 Jalen Milroe saw playing time on Saturday and threw 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 76 passing yards, and an 80% completion percentage. It’s pivotal that the red-shirt freshman gains experience, especially when Young is likely headed to the NFL draft in 2023.

Top 5 Heisman candidates for 2022

Who is the best Heisman candidate?

By: Brock Wells

Week Zero of the NCAA football season is now in the books with Week One action about to take center stage. Heisman Trophy candidates across the country will make their 2022 debuts throughout this week’s action. But just who will win the Heisman Trophy this season? Last season, the race seemed entirely up in the air with no consensus favorite showing up until relatively late in the season. Will this season be similar?

One thing is for certain: for the last several years, the Heisman Trophy has been utterly owned by quarterbacks. Of the last ten Heisman Trophy winners, eight of them have been quarterbacks, with just Derrick Henry (2015) and DeVonta Smith (2020) proving exceptions to this seemingly unwritten rule. Could it be any different this season? It’s hard to say considering the favorability quarterbacks have with the voting committee. These five players stand out as early Heisman favorites.

C.J. Stroud – Ohio State QB

C.J. Stroud is expected to have a spectacular season leading the Ohio State Buckeyes. Ohio State is a perennial favorite to win the Big Ten and this surely the case again in 2022. After being dethroned by Michigan in 2021, the program is ready to put that behind them. Stroud struggled early on in ’21 but rebounded to have a great statistically season (4,435 yards, 44 touchdowns, 71.9 completion %) and finished fourth in Heisman voting. If he’s improved as a player at all since last season, his stats will warrant Heisman consideration.

The other piece of this is whether Ohio State wins the Big Ten. Fair or not, team success has a lot to do with Heisman voting. Is Michigan good again? Does Penn State rise up? Michigan State? Wisconsin? Stroud’s chances to win the Heisman Trophy lie squarely with Ohio State’s dominance over the rest of the conference. Assuming they win the conference and Stroud plays well all season, he’s probably the favorite.

Bryce Young – Alabama QB

Bryce Young figures to be in the mix again this season after throwing for 4,872 yards, 47 touchdowns, and seven interceptions in 2021. The dominance of Alabama in NCAA football over the last several seasons has been astounding. They’re simply an unrivaled program in this era. But can Young win the Heisman again? That could prove to be a long shot. In the history of the award, Archie Griffin is the only player to ever win it twice (1974, 1975). Matt Leinart couldn’t even do it during USC’s last golden age.

Can the Crimson Tide really do it again? Can they find themselves in the top three teams in the country yet again? One of these seasons, you’ve got to figure a crack finds its way into their armor. Georgia beat them last year, do they again in ’22? In all likelihood, the Tide do find their way to the College Football Playoff again, but Young certainly benefited from a wide-open Heisman field last season. It’s difficult to imagine him winning it again.

Caleb Williams – USC QB

Caleb Williams is the one to keep an eye on. Just how much can we expect from the USC Trojans this season? They broke the NCAA map when they announced they’d be joining the Big Ten down the road, but for now they still play in the Pac-12, a conference that has gotten the short end of the stick more often than not in this supposedly fairer playoff era of college football. Can USC pull a stunner and make their way to the top of the ranks like in years gone by?

As just a freshman last season, Williams benched the overrated Spencer Rattler while at the University of Oklahoma. In 11 games for the Sooners, he threw 21 touchdowns and four interceptions. This isn’t setting the world on fire, but for a freshman, it’s very good. He has more potential than either Young or Stroud, but he also has the smallest margin for error of the three. If USC can’t make their way back to national prominence, his chances to win the Heisman are slim.

Bijan Robinson – Texas RB

Bijan Robinson is the first non-quarterback to watch this season as he hopes to carry the Texas Longhorns back to the top much like Williams hopes to do for USC. The junior enters the ’22 season after rushing for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns last season in ten games. He had an additional four receiving touchdowns as well. His prowess in the run and passing game is a big reason why Texas has risen back into the national picture.

Robinson looks to play of a full slate of games this season and if he does so will be in a pretty decent place to make a case for Heisman consideration. In a Big 12 that also features Oklahoma and a seriously threatening Baylor team, Texas will have its share of competition to win the conference. But this is the first season in a while where you’ve been confidently able to say the Longhorns have as good a shot as the Sooners to win the conference outright.

Will Anderson – Alabama LB

Will Anderson is believed by many to be the best player in college football. This was believed last season as well when his Alabama teammate Bryce Young took the Heisman Trophy. After posting 17.5 sacks in 15 games last season, many have wondered just what a defensive player has to do to win the award. That’s a good question. If he puts up similar numbers this season and again doesn’t win, the questioning of the voting committee’s methods for decision making will be further vindicated.

Anderson was one of two defensive players at the Heisman ceremony last season, alongside Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson. Perhaps that’s a small victory in itself considering what a rarity that is these days. All Anderson needs to do is to put up another extraordinary season like he did last year and let the voters take care of themselves. He’s probably closer than any defensive player has been in a while to winning the award.

What to make of some of the bigger hires in college football

Lincoln Riley brings swagger to USC

By: Tim Rodriguez

There has been no shortage of movement in college football this year. With the transfer portal taking over, players are constantly changing programs. However, the biggest changes in the sport have occurred in the coaching world. Some of the biggest programs in college football have filled their vacant head coach roles with some massive names. What should we make of some of the “big hirings” of this cycle?

USC Trojans: Lincoln Riley

Championships. That is the expectation for Lincoln Riley at USC. Recruits have already started to pour over to Southern California, following Riley from Oklahoma. Why? Because in just a short amount of time, Lincoln Riley has proven one thing to be true: If you play offense for Riley, you will be playing on Sundays. With location advantages, the addition of NIL, and a PAC-12 in flux, there are almost zero reasons that Lincoln Riley cannot win a national championship for the Trojans.

Florida Gators: Billy Napier

The Florida Gators took a massive leap of faith with Louisiana head coach Billy Napier. Jumping to the SEC from the group of five is quite the culture shock, but if anyone can do it, Napier may be the one. Napier takes recruiting incredibly seriously, and has already had some massive wins in assembling his staff, such as pulling Corey Raymond, possibly the best defensive backs coach in the country, away from LSU.

LSU Tigers: Brian Kelly

Was the accent thing awkward? Sure, but LSU is about as well positioned as any program in the country. Brian Kelly brings over a decade of winning experience to a program that has just as many wins, but lacked stability with Ed Orgeron. The last three coaches have won championships at LSU and Brian Kelly aims to win his first title in Baton Rouge. At LSU, Kelly will be able to recruit in ways in which he never was able to at Notre Dame.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Marcus Freeman

After being the defensive coordinator at Cincinnati just two years ago, Marcus Freeman finds himself as the head coach of Notre Dame, one of the biggest brands in college football. That may be one of the most expeditious jumps in recent memory. With support from the players and staff, Freeman was named head coach rather quickly after Brian Kelly’s abrupt departure. Freeman, along with offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, form one of the youngest head coaching duos in all of the sport.

Miami Hurricanes: Mario Cristobal

Mario Cristobal returns home to South Florida. Miami has suffered from instability, lack of resources, and just plain old bad coaching. Cristobal brings a recruiting prowess that Miami has not had in ages. With Cristobal comes a reinvestment into the football program (and even rumors of a stadium) that looks to be exactly the shot in the arm that the program needs. With Florida and Miami hiring recruiting geniuses and Florida State boasting the second best ACC recruiting class in 2022… is the state of Florida back?

Oklahoma Sooners: Brent Venables

After the devastating loss of Lincoln Riley, the Oklahoma football program was rather diligent in looking for their next leading man. They landed on Brent Venables, bringing him back to Norman after so many successful years at Clemson. Venables has already had a massive win with his coaching staff in retaining Bill Bedenbaugh, one of the best offensive line coaches in college football.

former college football powerhouses that could use major makeovers

What happened to USC?

By: Tim Rodriguez

There are some former powerhouses in college football in the midst of dark days. Former consistent winners and national champions have found themselves questioning the future of their program. With the USC Trojans already making a midseason coaching change, what other former college football powerhouses should be evaluating what’s next?

USC Trojans

The USC athletics department has already decided that the program needs to head in a new direction. Head coach Clay Helton was relieved of his duties earlier this season and the program is looking for someone to restore them to their glory days. With NIL going into effect, playing in Southern California should be even more attractive to recruits. One of the biggest problems at USC in recent years has been losing local quarterbacks to other schools. Since Clay Helton took over, there have been numerous quarterbacks from the are to go on and be difference makers for other schools such as Jared Goff, Josh Rosen, and DJ Uiagalelei. USC has had talent at the position with players like Sam Darnold and Kedon Slovis, but given their pedigree in the early 2000’s, those players left a lot to be desired. Through Helton’s tenure, the roster has been talented, but not nearly as talented as it should be. If USC can find someone to run the program and stop losing to other schools in recruiting, they may be on the rise again.

Miami Hurricanes

Similar to USC, Miami’s problems are relatively simple: Recruit better and you’ll win more (especially with NIL). There has to be a proven winner brought in after Manny Diaz is inevitably fired. Had Miami fired Diaz earlier, they would have potentially had a shot at Oregon’s Mario Cristobal, a former Hurricane who grew up in Miami and coached at FIU, but with his new extension, it seems unlikely that a move is happening. Miami has been getting embarrassed in the trenches by better programs such as Alabama for the better part of the last two decades. The Hurricanes just look soft in big games, and also allow lesser teams to hang around because of poor play in the trenches, but especially at quarterback. Had Manny Diaz not been able to swing a couple of big transfers in the last two years, this program may look even worse.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

The Scott Frost era has been tough on those who root for Nebraska. Since firing Bo Pelini after the 2014 season, the Cornhuskers boast just one winning season and two total bowl game appearances. The fall from grace in Lincoln has been dramatic and Frost, the former Nebraska quarterback was supposed to be the man to turn it all around. With Frost, Nebraska is in danger of missing a bowl for the fifth straight season. That hasn’t happened to this program since the late 50’s and early 60’s. Nebraska has no difference-makers on their roster and have not had any for quite some time. The cornhuskers sit at 2-2 now, which would be their highest win percentage since 2016. For a program that never had a losing season from 1969 to 2001, this is a fall unlike many others.

Florida State Seminoles

*sigh* The most dramatic fall for any program on this list is undoubtedly the Florida State football program. National champions just eight years ago, the Seminoles have found themselves at 0-3 and spiraling down even further. Mike Norvell’s first season was unspectacular, and the last hope for this program may be in the 2022 recruiting class. The current roster is uninspiring outside of some hidden gems on defense and a surprisingly effective running back room. If Norvell can find a way to keep Travis Hunter and A.J. Duffy committed, there is a shot at resurgence, but so many other blemishes need to be addressed as well. Mike Norvell isn’t going anywhere (strictly for financial reasons), and the team is about as poorly coached as power-five team can get. The fewest amount of penalty yardage yielded in a game by the Seminoles this season is 54 yards in an overtime loss vs Notre Dame. The offensive line is also something that has been poor for quite a few years now and has transcended multiple coaching staffs.

Penn State

By far the best team on this list, the Nittany Lions are not that far from contending. Consistently a top ten finisher under James Franklin, Penn State just needs one final push to get over the hump. They are always a few pieces away from being legitimate threats to the college football playoff, with the main ones being quarterback and offensive line. They always have the defense and the skill players to hang with teams like Ohio State, but have been held back by average quarterbacks and middling offensive line play. The 2017 team should have made the playoff, but back-to-back road losses against Michigan and Ohio State ended their season long before the committee sat down. James Franklin may be a better coach than most, but until Penn State finds their “Dabo Sweeney” they’ll be on the outside looking in (until playoff expansion).

Top 5 Heisman candidates for the 2021-22 college football Season

Will Spencer Rattler win the Heisman?

By: Chris Thomas

Now that the College Football season has started it won’t be long until Heisman candidates and storylines start to emerge. The Heisman is awarded to the best player in college football that season and cements a player’s legacy as one of the greatest college football players of all time. 

Last year was the first time in a couple of years that there wasn’t a clearcut favorite for the award. Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith became the first wide receiver to win the award since 1991 and the fourth wide receiver ever to do so. Smith also became the first non-quarterback to win the Heisman since former Alabama running back Derrick Henry won the award in 2015. 

Many great candidates could be nominated and win the award this upcoming season. Here are a few players to look out for who could take home the Heisman at the end of the 2021-22 College Football season. 

Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma

It is hard to start a Heisman candidates list without the face of college football Spencer Rattler. The redshirt sophomore is about to enter his second full season as the team’s starting quarterback. Rattler is already the favorite to go first overall in the 2022 NFL Draft and by many to win the Heisman. He would be Lincoln Riley’s third quarterback to accomplish both feats since he took over the program in 2017. Both Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray won the Heisman and went first overall in the NFL Draft back to back in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. 

Last season Rattler threw for 3,031 passing yards, 28 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions. He also rushed for 160 yards and six touchdowns on 81 attempts. That performance earned Rattler a spot on AP‘s First Team All-Big 12 and made him a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien award. He finished the year with the third-highest PFF grade among quarterbacks in the FBS with a 92.5.

This upcoming season Rattler not only has the opportunity to build upon how he played last year but potentially take the Oklahoma Sooners to the College Football Playoffs and compete for a National Championship. If Oklahoma makes it to the College Football Playoffs it would be hard to imagine Rattler not at least being nominated for the Heisman after this season. 

Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

It is not a ridiculous statement to say that Bryce Hall has the potential to be the most dynamic passer Nick Saban has had during his time at Alabama. That is not a shot at Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa, or Mac Jones who are all NFL starting quarterbacks. In the small sample size that Young has shown, he displayed more of a playmaker skillset compared to a distributor/point guard type like Tagovailoa and Jones or athlete that relies on mobility like Hurts. 

Last season Young finished the season completing 13 of his 22 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown. In high school, Young was considered the best dual-threat quarterback in the nation and a five-star prospect.

The sophomore quarterback has a fantastic opportunity to become one of the faces of college football now that he will be the starting quarterback of the reigning national champions. Young will be leading an extremely talented roster that is considered the favorite to repeat as champions. If Young shows why he was considered such a polarizing high school quarterback at the next level in a full-time starting role he could very well win the Heisman this year.

D.J. Uiagalelei, QB, Clemson

It cannot be an enviable position to follow up Trevor Lawerence as the starting quarterback of the Clemson Tigers. Lawerence was considered by many as one of the greatest college quarterbacks of all time. The sophomore quarterback will join a line of prestigious quarterbacks to start for Clemson over the last decade including Lawerence and Deshaun Watson. Both quarterbacks have left big shoes for D.J. Uiagalelei to fill. There are a lot of expectations that come with being the quarterback for a Dabo Swinney-led Clemson team. Both Lawerence and Watson were catalysts for the Tigers winning National Championships when they were starters. 

Last season he played in ten games but started two against Boston College and Notre Dame. In his first start against Boston College, Uiagalelei completed 73.2% of his passes going 30 for 41 and passing for 342 yards and two touchdowns. He also had six rushes for 25 yards and a touchdown. Then the following week against #4 Notre Dame, Uiagalelei went 29 of 44 for 439 yards and two touchdowns. Uiagalelei rushed for two yards on 13 attempts and a touchdown in that game as well. He finished the year completing 66.7% of his passes completing 78 of 117 of them for 914 yards, five touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Uiagalelei had 28 rushing attempts for 60 yards and four touchdowns. His 146.4 pass efficiency rating was fifth-best by an ACC freshman quarterback since 2002. Uiagalelei also became only the second FBS player since 2000 to throw at least 115 passes and record at least five passing touchdowns and no interceptions.

As long as Clemson makes the College Football playoffs Uiagalelei should be a Heisman contender. What he brings to the table that separates him from the rest is the combination of size and athleticism. At 6’4″ and 249 pounds he is a fantastic athlete and a threat as a ball carrier. His combination of size, mobility, and arm strength could draw comparisons to another former Heisman winner former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton who is 6’5″ and 245 pounds. If Uiagalelei plays similarly to how Newton did in his Heisman campaign in the 2010 season, he could very well win the award at the end of this season. 

J.T Daniels, QB, Georgia

One player that has been trending towards being considered one of the nation’s best quarterbacks is Georgia quarterback JT Daniels. He will start his second season as a Georgia Bulldog after two years at USC. Many believe a great season from him could catapult Georgia back into the National title picture. 

Daniels transferred to Georgia after redshirting his sophomore season due to a season-ending knee injury. Last season only started four games for Georgia at the end of the season. Daniels finished the year completing 80 of his 119 passes for 1,231 yards, ten touchdowns, and only two interceptions. That is an average of 307.8 passing yards, 2.5 touchdowns, and .5 interceptions a game. 

He is entering his Junior year this season so Daniels is eligible for another year. However, he is gaining a lot of hype as a quarterback prospect to look out for that could potentially be a first-round pick. Daniels has a cannon for an arm which will get him on a light of highlight reels throughout the season. If Georgia makes a National title push and Daniels makes huge plays throughout the season he could have a legitimate case to win the Heisman at the end of the year. 

Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Now that the Sam Ehlinger era is over at Texas the star Longhorn tasked with bringing them back to relevancy is running back Bijan Robinson. The Longhorns have needed a star on their roster who can bring them back to what they were over a decade ago. So far Robinson has shown that he has what it takes to be that guy. 

During his freshman year, Robinson played in nine games, but only started six of them. He had three games last season where he rushed for over 100 yards and averaged 10.3 carries in each of those games. His best game came at the end of the year against Colorado where he rushed for 183 yards and a touchdown off ten carries. In that game, Robinson also caught two passes for 37 yards and two more touchdowns. He finished last year with 703 rushing yards and four touchdowns on only 86 carries. 

Robinson has the size and strength to be a power back, but is shifty and has the athleticism to make him almost impossible to defend. He has shown that he is also a threat as a receiver. His style of play is similar to Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. 

If Robinson thrives in a workhorse role for Texas gets them closer to being a national title threat he could become the first running back since 2015 to win the Heisman. 

Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State

Last season Breece Hall was arguably the best running back in college football. He discretely had one of the greatest seasons for a running back in college football history. He could put up similar production in his junior year at Iowa State. 

After an outstanding freshman season Hall broke out in a major way his sophomore year. In the twelve games he played, Hall rushed for 1,572 yards on 279 attempts and 21 touchdowns. He led the entire country in rushing last season. He averaged 131 rushing yards per game. Hall became the first player in College Football to have 75+ yards and a rushing touchdown in all 12 games since NFL Hall of Famer and former TCU running back LaDainian Tomlinson did it in 2000. He added multiple accolades to his resume including being the first unanimous All-American in Iowa State history, winning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, and First Team All-Big 12. This performance landed Hall sixth in the Heisman voting.

He came extremely close to winning the Heisman a year ago. If Hall were to repeat his performance or even break his records there would be slim to no chance that he does not get recognized as one of the greatest running backs to ever play in college football by winning the Heisman. 

Brian Robinson Jr., RB, Alabama

Brian Robinson Jr. becomes the next running back to join the fraternity of Alabama starting running backs. The Crimson Tide have had an outstanding group of players at the position over the years including Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy, Derrick Henry, and Najee Harris. There have also been other talented running backs for the Crimson Tide that weren’t workhorse backs including Alvin Kamara, T.J. Yeldon, Kenyan Drake, Damien Harris, and Josh Jacobs. So expectations are high for a player like Robinson who will now control this backfield and have a major role for this offense. 

Over the last two seasons, Robinson Jr. has played a complementary role to Najee Harris. Last year he rushed for 483 yards and six touchdowns on 91 attempts. Robinson fits the bigger running back mold the Crimson Tide have been known for under Nick Saban. He has been used to run the ball outside of the tackles on outside zone runs. He has also returned kickoffs for Alabama on occasion. 

This year the redshirt senior finally gets his chance to lead this backfield. If Robinson has a breakout season and is as dominant as the Alabama running backs that have come before him he has a great of a chance as anyone to win the Heisman. There has not been a more dominant position group on a college football team over the last decade than Alabama running backs. Robinson could be the third to win the Heisman since 2009.

Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

It is extremely unlikely that a wide receiver wins the Heisman in any given year. It is even more unlikely that a wide receiver wins the Heisman in back-to-back seasons. But after DeVonta Smith won last year it does open up the conversation to the position group and it is unlikely that a talent like Chris Olave isn’t considered for the award after the season.

Last year Olave broke out and established himself as one of the best receivers in college football. He almost matched his receiving yardage and touchdown total from the season prior despite having his season reduced to seven games. Olave caught 50 receptions for 729 yards and seven touchdowns. He averaged 104.1 yards per game. He was named First Team All-Big Ten after his performance. He was considered one of the best wide receivers in college football last season.

Coming into this season Olave is considered the best wide receiver in the nation. If he continues the pace that he set last season or exceeds it over a full college football season he could make it back-to-back seasons that a wide receiver wins the Heisman.

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