The Top Five Heisman Candidates Heading Into 2019

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The Heisman trophy, college football’s most prestigious award. Given out yearly to the best, usually offensive, player, (shoutout to the legend Charles Woodson for winning it as a defensive player.) Here are my top five picks, along with Oddshark’s current odds. Just in case you want to place a little futures bet.

5. Jonathan Taylor, RB Wisconsin

Current Odds- +2000

I know, I know, many of you will be clamoring that I’m putting Taylor on here instead of Clemson’s Travis Etienne. But, before you rage so hard you click out of here, hear me out. Jonathan Taylor is arguably the best running back in all of college football. His freshman year, he racked up 1977 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Then, last season as a sophomore, Taylor somehow got better. He ran for 2194 yards and a whopping 16 touchdowns. Not to mention, he gets to lineup behind one of the best offensive lines in all of college football. I mean come on, those monsters of men consume nothing but beer and cheese curds in Madison, Wisconsin. Oh, Taylor also finished in the top 10 of Heisman voting in the past two years. (#6 in 2017, #9 in 2018.)

4. Jalen Hurts, QB Oklahoma

Current Odds- +1000

Look, Lincoln Riley and Oklahoma are somehow becoming a Heisman factory for quarterbacks, winning the last 2 awards, (Baker Mayfield- 2017, Kyler Murray- 2018.) Not to mention, those same quarterbacks have also gone number one overall in the past two NFL Drafts. So, safe to say Hurts has a legitimate shot on a redemption tour with the Sooners after being benched in the 2018 National Championship, and eventually losing the starting job at Alabama. In two plus seasons with the Crimson Tide, Hurts has thrown for 5626 yards, 48 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions, and has a QBR of 148.8. “But, Jesse, those are just normal passing numbers, anyone can beat those numbers.” Let’s just add his rushing stats real quick; 1976 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns. Do the math and you’ll see that Hurts has racked up 7602 total yards and 71 touchdowns. Now he’s gone from a conference based on defense, to one that’s allergic to it. Hurts’ numbers are going to skyrocket.

3. Shea Patterson, QB Michigan

Current Odds- +2500

Easily the biggest longshot according to Oddshark, but if everything goes right for Patterson, he has a legit shot at winning the Heisman. The former #1 QB recruit, who transferred from Ole Miss last spring after they were found violating NCAA rules, threw for 2600 yards and 22 touchdowns to only 7 interceptions in a now archaic Wolverine offense. Definitely not Heisman numbers, but Michigan is going through a complete offensive change. Former Alabama WR Coach, Josh Gattis is the new Offensive Coordinator and Head Coach Jim Harbaugh has already confirmed that all play calling duties have been given to Gattis. The biggest advantage Patterson has over anyone on this list, is that the single season records for Wolverines’ quarterbacks, are honestly putrid, (3331 passing yards, 25 touchdowns.) If Patterson can (and he should) break these records while also finally beating Ohio State and leading the Maize and Blue into the College Football Playoffs, he’ll easily finish in the top 3 of voting.

2. Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama

Current Odds- +250

The odds on favorite to win the Heisman this season is also the same person who I personally think should have won it last year. Yes, Kyler Murray deserved it, but Tua was so dominant, he barely played in the fourth quarter in most games. The future 2020 #1 overall pick is coming off a year where he threw for 3966 yards and 43 touchdowns with only 6 interceptions. The Hawaiian Lefty (just made that up on the spot, kind of proud of myself) is on one of the two best programs in the country, has arguably the best receiver in the NCAA since Julio Jones, and has a chip on his shoulder for losing both the Heisman and National Championship last season. Unless he gets abducted by aliens or something just as crazy, Tua is going to finish top 2 in the race.

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB Clemson

Current Odds- +275

Defending National Champion, NFL teams already asking if they can draft him, fighting people in intramural basketball games, donning a majestical head of hair. What more could you honestly ask for from Trevor Lawrence? He has the second best odds for the Heisman according to Oddshark, but it’s safe to say he will easily be the fan favorite to win it. Coming off a year where he threw for 3280 yards and 30 touchdowns, there’s not much for me to say here. Like Tua, unless Lawrence runs off to go live with bigfoot or his right arm magically disappears, he’s going to be in New York for the Heisman ceremony and will easily finish top 2.

Honorable Mentions

Sam Ehlinger- +1500: If Texas is indeed actually back, so will a Longhorn in the Heisman voting

Jerry Jeudy- +4500: He’s the best receiver in college football, what more do you need?

Travis Etienne- +3000: He’s one of the better running backs in college football and plays for the defending champions.