After four weeks of college football, many players have made their case for being in the running for the Heisman Trophy this December. 14 KJHK sports staff members compiled their votes for who they think deserves the trophy after four weeks of college football.
Four players – senior quarterback Jalen Hurts (University of Oklahoma), junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (University of Alabama), senior quarterback Joe Burrow (Louisiana State University) and junior running back Jonathan Taylor (University of Wisconsin) stood out from the pack, all being included in almost every poll.
What is important about this? If any of these four upperclassmen prevail on top, it will be the first time that three consecutive juniors/seniors have won the Heisman since 2006, when then-sophomore quarterback Tim Tebow was the first in his respective college year to win the Heisman Trophy.
The following is the top five vote getters, as well as all 11 players included in this week’s voting. (Each voter chose five players, with five points awarded for first place, numerically down to one point for fifth place).
1. Quarterback – Jalen Hurts – Senior, University of Oklahoma
In three games, Hurts has compiled 880 yards and nine touchdowns. His 250.2 Passer Efficiency Rating leads the nation, and his 80.3% passing completion rate only trails LSU’s Joe Burrow (80.6).
But he’s not just special for his arm. His 372 rushing yards is the third best in the Big 12, and he’s brought along four rushing touchdowns as well. Oklahoma’s 3-0 record come with an average of 56 (56!) points per game, along with a nation best 677 yards PER GAME.
Hurts is the latest transfer quarterback to lead the way for the Heisman race. His two predecessors, quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, are the last two reigning Heisman winners. If Hurts can come on top, and right now he is certainly the favorite, he will put his school in the record book as the only to claim three consecutive Heisman winners.
2. Quarterback – Tua Tagovailoa – Junior, University of Alabama
Former national champion Tua Tagovailoa came in second in Heisman voting last year, and although his hopes are on racking another national title, the junior is again in the running for the prestigious award in December.
Tagovailoa is one of the nation’s best under center, throwing for 17 touchdowns and 1300 yards already. His 77.7 completion percentage also helps him bring all three stat lines within the top five of the nation.
He has helped propel his Alabama offense to 50 points per game, in yet another 4-0 start for the Crimson Tide – making it four straight. Throughout the season Tagovailoa will be in the mix for the Heisman award, as he looks to take his hopefully undefeated team all the way to the National Championship for the fifth straight season.
3. Quarterback – Joe Burrow – Senior, Louisiana State University
LSU’s starting quarterback Joe Burrow ran onto the scene in this season’s Heisman watch after a spectacular four touchdown and 471 yard performance at Texas in Week 2, helping move the Tigers to a number four ranking in the AP poll.
The former Ohio State transfer has found his spot in Baton Rouge, where the senior leads the SEC with 1520 passing yards, 17 passing touchdowns and a 225.6 Player Efficiency Rating. Already 4-0, Burrow will have multiple chances to strengthen his case with games with Florida, Auburn and Alabama – all in the top ten – within the next five games.
If Burrow can continue his solid play, he will only become the second LSU Tiger to raise the Heisman Trophy, 60 years since then-senior quarterback Billy Cannon did it before becoming the first overall pick in the NFL Draft the following year.
4. Running Back – Jonathan Taylor – Junior, University of Wisconsin
Only two running backs have (officially) won the Heisman Trophy since then-senior Ron Dayne did it for Wisconsin 20 years ago, and Jonathan Taylor hopes to join his fellow Badger at the end of it all.
As the only running back in the top five of KJHK’s ballot, Taylor is no stranger to Heisman Trophy consideration, as the junior finished in the top ten in his first two seasons in college football. Taylor leads the NCAA in points and touchdowns from scrimmage, scoring 10 times through only three games, compiling 440 rushing yards, on pace to surpass his 2194 in 2018.
Taylor not only is the only running back in the top five, but he is also the only member of the ballot to have an injury be his biggest challenge. Questionable for the game on Saturday, he will likely need to perform in every game this season to end up on top of this already packed field.
5*. Quarterback – Justin Fields – Sophomore, Ohio State University
Former Georgia Bulldog Justin Fields is the youngest player in the top five, one of only three sophomores in the entire ballot. However, Fields has already showed his worth through his first four games for the Buckeyes.
He leads the Big Ten with 13 passing touchdowns and a 192.4 Player Efficiency Rating, and his six rushing touchdowns tie him for sixth in the nation. The dual-threat quarterback has helped lead his team to a 4-0 start, averaging 53.5 points under new head coach Ryan Day.
Unfortunately for Fields, he will need to work out of the shadow of current Heisman favorite Jalen Hurts, another dual threat quarterback whose team averages 50+ points. On the plus side for Fields, he will have a chance to make his case against premier teams, playing against defensive-minded Wisconsin at the end of October. This will be the best chance for Fields to show why he is worthy over his fellow upperclassmen.
(*We gave Fields the tiebreak over Lawrence because he was included on more ballots.)
|QB||Joe Burrow||Sr.||1||5||2||1||2||35||Louisiana State|
|QB||Justin Fields||So.||0||1||0||2||4||12||Ohio State|
|QB||Anthony Gordon||Sr.||0||0||2||0||0||6||Washington State|
|RB||Chuba Hubbard||So.||0||0||0||1||1||3||Oklahoma State|
|QB||Ian Book||Sr.||0||0||0||0||1||1||Notre Dame|
Please contact KJHK, or our Sports Director Arman Alhosseini (@PERSIAsGREATEST), for any questions or comments.