Just a few weeks ago there was no question as to who was going to win the Heisman, Lamar Jackson had it in the bag. Then Louisville lost to Houston and rival Kentucky with Jackson accounting for only 5 touchdowns while turning the ball over 4 times over the two losses. This has left the door wide open as it is now anyone’s award to win. With that being said I’ll rank in order who I believe are the top 5 Heisman candidates.
1. Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma: Mayfield is having another huge season for the Sooners. With over 3,500 total yards and 41 touchdowns to only 8 interceptions. Oklahoma got off to a slow start losing two of their first three games but have completely turned the season around by winning 8 straight. Mayfield has been the catalyst for the offense, showcasing his ability to simply make plays despite not having what would be considered a great arm or speed like most other star dual threat quarterbacks. At this point Mayfield is my favorite to take home the Heisman. He has the best combination of a winning team and great personal stats and performances of any player in the country.
2. Lamar Jackson QB Louisville: As stated above, Jackson and Louisville have had a rough stretch of play lately. Even with two poor performances in a row, Jackson’s numbers are still unbelievable. He has accounted for 4,476 yards and 47 touchdowns to only 6 interceptions. Jackson is a human highlight reel with a long run of only 2 yards less than his longest pass at 74 and 72 yards respectively. Had Louisville taken care of business against either Houston or Kentucky I would likely have had him first on this list but his inability to finish the season really hurt him in my eyes.
3. D’Onta Foreman RB Texas: Foreman has had an absolutely amazing year with 2,028 yards rushing (1st in FBS), a whopping 6.3 yards per carry and 15 touchdowns. Foreman has been no doubt the most impressive running back statistically in the country, but his Heisman chances are really hurt by Texas’ 5-7 record. While Texas’ poor season likely disqualifies Foreman from winning the award, his individual success was truly remarkable.
4. Deshaun Watson QB Clemson: Watson got off to a slow start on the year, as he and Clemson looked to be sleepwalking through games, doing just enough to beat lesser opponents. While he hasn’t been quite as good as last year Watson is still putting up big numbers and likely will lead Clemson to the playoff for the second consecutive year. Watson has 34 passing touchdowns to 14 interceptions and has added another 4 touchdowns on the ground this year. Watson also gets some credit for finishing the year out strong with a 6 touchdown performance against South Carolina.
5. Jabrill Peppers LB/S/CB/KR/PR: Peppers has had an incredible year for the Wolverines. Defensively he has 77 tackles, 4 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, and 1 interception. As a return man he average 15.25 yards per punt return and 24 yards per kick return and has one return touchdown. Offensively he has over 160 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground and averages 7.1 yards per carry. While Peppers has always been at a disadvantage to win the award since he is a defensive player, he may have been the single most impressive player in college football this season.
Jake Browning QB Washington
Dalvin Cook RB Florida State
Obviously this is up for debate, let me know you top candidates in the comments below.