Well we have seen some guys come out of nowhere, guys fall off the map and guys comeback from what seemed like a lost season. So we are going to go over the complete picture to get the full scope of the Heisman race.
The Top Contenders
Lamar Jackson has put up some ridiculous numbers, with 3,518 total yards and 38 total touchdowns. He averages 439.8 total yards a game and is on pace to put up 68 total touchdowns this season. Which would break former Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan’s record of 63. The trophy is his to lose.
After a slow start, Dalvin Cook has come on and really hit his stride. He has 1,069 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns with 371 receiving yards and a receiving touchdowns. He averages 6.01 yards a carry and 180 yards from scrimmage a game. He has a shot if Lamar Jackson has a few down games.
Donnel Pumphrey is one of the best running backs you probably have not heard about. That is because playing for the San Diego State Aztecs, a team with not a lot of national recognition. That has not slowed down the 5’9” running back who has racked up 1,469 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. He is having a phenomenal season and hopefully gets some recognition for it.
The Big 12 is the perfect place for a wide receiver to put up stats because of the poor defense and high scoring games. So it is no surprise that Dede Westbrook has been lighting up the stat sheet and has 1,035 yards and 11 touchdowns through the air along with a punt return touchdown. He is averaging 18.16 yards a catch and tears the top off of defenses.
If you have read any of my other Heisman articles, you know this is my favorite pick and player. Jabrill Peppers should win because not only is he the best all around college talent, but also because it is better for college when someone other than the standard quarterback or running back that wins every single year gets beat by a defensive player. Peppers also plays plenty of offense and has 13 rushing yards along with three touchdowns and another touchdown on a punt return. On defense he has 48 tackles (32 of them solo), 12 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble. He has forced 91 negative yards for opposing offenses. He is a stud, can play anywhere and is on one of the best teams in the game.
Outside Shot Contenders
Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen could have a shot because he is on the best team and the southern teams get the most attention in the Heisman voting. He has two fumbles taken to the house, 35 tackles, six sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, two defended passes and a blocked kick. His starts are impressive and he is on a team that gives a defensive lineman the best shot of recognition.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts has 2,099 total yards and is also in a great spot to get recognition despite only having 21 total touchdowns. If he has a really great end of his season, his place on the Alabama roster will help his odds.
Jake Browning has 1,895 passing yards and 32 total touchdowns for the Huskies with only three interceptions. He has looked great all season long and helped get Washington to number four in the country. However, he has to beat out fellow quarterback Jackson for this trophy and will need a perfect end to the season to give him a run for his money.
Had a Chance, Now off the Heisman Radar
Before people get all worked up about Leonard Fournette being on the list, let me say for those who do not get it: this is not about talent evaluation. The Heisman is 95 percent about stats, if you do not have them for whatever reason you are out of the race. Fournette has missed too many games with the nagging ankle injury. Putting up only 670 rushing yards and five touchdowns after week nine will not get you in. Sorry.
Christian McCaffrey is also not getting the trophy with only 988 yards from scrimmage and seven total touchdowns. He already had the odds against him because people expected him to be last year, which is ridiculous because he broke the record last year. That was a far fetched expectation and he has had injury and poor offensive line play to add on.
Many had JuJu Smith-Schuster as a dark horse candidate. Unfortunately the problems early at quarterback and constant double coverage have left him with 631 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. It is hard enough already to win Heisman at receiver, his totals are not terrible but too low to get him into Heisman contention.
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