16 Aug 2019 Heisman Hopefuls
2019 Heisman Hopefuls
Who will stand alone as the most outstanding player in college football? Will it be another Oklahoma quarterback? Could it be one of the nations top skill players? These 12 players have what it takes to shine on the national stage and get a dinner invite to New York in December.
Trevor Lawrence (DraftKings Odds +175)
A guy most NFL teams are already licking their chops for in the 2021 draft, Lawrence is a certified pro. After taking the starting position last season as a true freshman, Lawrence lead Clemson to an undefeated season and a National Championship victory. The best pocket passer in college football Lawrence threw for 3280 yards on 259 attempts last season. His 30 touchdowns to 4 interceptions shows his accuracy and ability to make good decisions. With a strong receiver core and a stud at running back in Travis Etienne Clemson can boast the top offense this season. As the National championship favorite and Heisman favorite betting against Lawrence this year will be a tough sell.
Tua Tagovailoa (DraftKings Odds +225)
Tua has come a long way since being Saban’s bold second-half starter in the 2017 National Championship game. The now junior put up ridiculous numbers a season ago. Over his 15 games, he threw for 3966 yards on 245 attempts and boasted 43 touchdowns to only 6 interceptions. He went 8 games without throwing an interception to start the year last season and threw 5 of his 6 interceptions against teams ranked in the top 5. Tua will certainly put up monster numbers during Alabama’s non-conference schedule and I doubt he’ll slow down in conference play. The only concern with Tua’s game is his lingering knee injury. If that causes him to miss any significant time his Heisman hopes could be gone.
Jalen Hurts (DraftKings Odds +1400)
If you truly believe that history repeats itself then this is a bet for you. This would not only be the third year in a row an Oklahoma quarterback won the Heisman, but it would also be the third transfer to do so. Previously Baker Mayfield, and most recently Kyler Murray took home the hardware while sporting an Oklahoma jersey. Like both of those quarterbacks, Hurts can be dangerous when putting the ball in the air and when taking off with the ball. Hurts could be a popular bet in Lincoln Riley’s offense, but I will not be following suit. While Riley is known for airing the ball out and padding his quarterback’s stats, I don’t think Hurts has what it takes. As a passer Hurts will never accomplish the near 5000 yards Baker put up and as a rusher, I find it hard to believe he will eclipse the 1000 yard mark like Murray. While I do think he can put up the best numbers of his career and have a rewarding season I am not buying into his Heisman hype.
Justin Fields (DraftKings Odds +1400)
This will be an interesting season for the Georgia transfer. A former five-star recruit who was the number one dual-threat quarterback in his class, begins his sophomore campaign with the Buckeyes. The receiving core for Ohio State was thinned after losing three of their top four receivers but they still have plenty of talent. K.J. Hill will be a standout in his senior season, and they have a lot of depth behind him. J.K. Dobbins will continue to pound the rock and open opportunities for the passing game. Fields is also a highly touted runner who accumulated 266 yards on only 42 rushing attempts a year ago. He averaged 4.5 yards per rush and crossed the goal line himself four times last season. With a new coach, look for him to use Fields to ignite the offense both with his arm and his legs.
Jake Fromm (DraftKings Odds +1800)
Jake Fromm could very well be a top talent at the next level. A heady veteran with an ability to win games. Last season he threw for 2761 yards and had 30 touchdowns to only 6 interceptions. While those numbers may not jump off the page that is due to Georgia’s run-first mentality. Sources around UGA’s camp have said that the offense going into this season is going to be completely different. I believe that Kirby Smart is going to center his offense around the quarterback who has taken them to the brink of glory since he has arrived. Fromm is one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the country and if he leads Georgia to the promised land this year he will have a legitimate claim to the trophy.
Jonathan Taylor (DraftKings Odds +1800)
Jonathan Taylor will once again be the focal point of every defense’s strategy. The future first-round pick tallied a whopping 2194 on 307 attempts a season ago. Along with his tremendous 7.1 yards per rush, he also scored 16 times on the ground. He led all of college football by over 200 rushing yards a season ago and is set up for another record-breaking season. Behind the punishing Wisconsin offensive line,Taylor can make a serious push for the most rushing yards in a season, Barry Sanders had 2628 back in 1988. He also has a shot to put himself in the top five all-time in collegiate rushing yards. Jonathan Taylor’s Heisman campaign will have to include Wisconsin winning football games. If they can win 10 games on the back of Taylor, he will have a legitimate shot at winning the award.
Adrian Martinez (DraftKings Odds +2000)
Coming off a fantastic freshman season at Nebraska Adrian Martinez has a chance to explode this year. The former four-star recruit is now one of the top dual threat quarterback’s in the country. Martinez made a name for himself by compiling 2617 yards through the air and delivering 17 touchdowns while only throwing 8 interceptions. The now true sophomore will look to add to those numbers as well as increase his 629 rushing yards on 140 attempts from a season ago. Martinez also has a nose for the end-zone rushing the ball in himself 8 times last year. The biggest thing Martinez can do to support his claim for the Heisman is win games. If he can lead the Cornhuskers to a Big Ten West championship and a solid bowl game, he will give voters no choice other than to consider him for the crown.
Travis Etienne (DraftKings Odds +2200)
Etienne was an under the radar player last season. Entering his junior year, Etienne is looking to lead the nation in rushing. As a skill player on the number one team in the country, defenses will have a hard time focusing on just him. While coaches are scheming to stop Trevor Lawrence, Etienne will exploit defenses over and over again this season. His ridiculous 8.1 yards per carry last season makes him a literal cheat code, and will allow Clemson to march up and down the field. The toughest part of picking a running back to win the Heisman is the uncertainty. Running backs get subbed out of games frequently and with the toll their body takes you cannot be guaranteed he plays a full season. While I will not be betting on Etienne he is one of the two running backs that has a chance to take home the hardware.
Justin Herbert (DraftKings Odds +2500)
One of the most seasoned quarterbacks in college football returns for his senior season. With an offense returning 10 of their 11 starters from a season ago, the Ducks will be a force in the Pac-12. Last season he put up a modest 3151 yards with 240 completions. He finished the season with 29 touchdowns to 8 interceptions but is looking to expand upon those numbers this year. While I don’t think Herbert is a top quarterback he will lead the Ducks to a conference championship.
Sam Ehlinger (DraftKings Odds +2800)
The question on everyone’s mind going into the season will be “Is Texas back?”. Sam Ehlinger will carry the weight of the state on his shoulders every time he steps out on the field. Last season he threw for 3292 yards with 25 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. His arm is a serious weapon and although he doesn’t pick up many yards with his legs he scored 16 touchdowns while rushing the ball last season. I expect Texas to be a threat nationally as they are currently ranked 9th in the AROSE Top 25. Ehlinger will be the driving force behind this team and has high aspirations for his junior campaign.
Shea Patterson (DraftKings Odds +4000)
Shea Patterson enters a make it or break it year for Michigan Football. With Ohio State’s coaching change most people are predicting a Big Ten championship for the Wolverines. Patterson comes off a season where he threw for 2600 yards on 325 attempts and tossed 22 touchdowns compared to his 7 interceptions. If he can build on those numbers and push his passing yards above three thousand with 30+ touchdowns, he will be the frontrunner out of the Big Ten. A lot of voters weigh a team’s success just as highly as the individual and with Michigan’s ability to win games this year he can put himself in a position to thrive. Coach Jim Harbaugh has said it is an open competition between Patterson and sophomore Dylan McCaffrey, but I believe Patterson will cement himself as the starter after a 6 and 0 start to the season. He will have to avoid slip-ups early when playing at Wisconsin and in their home game against Iowa. With a chance at making the college football playoff, Patterson is a great value at +4000.
Rondale Moore (DraftKings Odds +6000)
Rondale Moore took no time to adjust to the college level. He burst out of the gate game one last year as a true freshman when he went for 11 receptions, 109 yards and a touchdown against Northwestern. He also added 79 rushing yards on 2 attempts and a rushing touchdown. Moore did not look back after that first game. He led the country with 114 receptions, was 1st in the Big Ten with 12 receiving touchdowns and 1st in the Big Ten with 1258 receiving yards. Coach Jeff Brohm is an offensive genius and finds ways to get the ball in his best players hands constantly. Moore was used as a rusher frequently on jet sweeps and ran for 213 yards on only 21 attempts. He also has an ability keep his legs churning and turn short gains into big plays. With a new quarterback in Elijah Sindelar and new receiving threats on the offense, Moore’s role could change this season. The biggest issue for the 2018 Consensus All-American will be Purdue’s inability to win enough games this year. No matter how the season turns out for the Boilermakers, Rondale Moore will remain must watch television.