A decent part of the college football season has happened in the blink of an eye, and the favorites for college football’s most prestigious award, the Heisman, are starting to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
Some of the preseason favorites have completely fallen out of favor, and even lost their jobs, while others have seemingly come out of nowhere and seem destined to at the very least have a seat in New York come award time.
The Heisman trophy is awarded each year to the most outstanding player in college football. The award has become synonymous with quarterbacks, but anyone can win the award.
Without further ado, here are my top five Heisman candidates at this point in the season.
- Kenneth Walker lll, RB Michigan State
This guy has been on an absolute tear so far this season, and this past weekend was, in my eyes, his “Heisman moment.” In what many considered to be the top matchup of the weekend, Walker took over against rival Michigan, leading the Spartans to a huge win to stay undefeated. In that game alone he rushed for 197 yards and received five touchdowns to get the 37-33 win over Michigan, who at the time was ranked sixth in the nation.
Overall this season has been dominant for Kenneth Walker lll, ever since his very first touch in a Spartan uniform, which he scored a touchdown in; this guy has been electric. The Wake Forest transfer has been huge in MSU’s sudden success. On the season he has rushed for 1,194 yards and 14 touchdowns. After his last big performance, he tops my list.
- Bryce Young, QB Alabama
Many may still consider Bryce Young to be the favorite to take home the trophy, but he drops a spot for me after Walker’s great performance. That isn’t a knock on Young, who is one of the few preseason Heisman candidates to actually perform to expectations in the regular season. So far Young has led the Crimson Tide to a 7-1 record and they seem to be on track to make the playoffs come the end of the season.
Young has been putting up some big numbers as one might expect. Through eight games this season, he has thrown for 2,453 yards and 26 touchdowns. He has been very efficient in doing so, with a completion percentage hovering around the seventy percent mark and only three interceptions.
- C.J. Stroud, QB Ohio State
Stroud has rebounded quite well from a questionable start to the season to firmly place himself in the thick of the Heisman conversation. The Buckeye quarterback is leading one of the nation’s best offenses and putting up adequate numbers while doing so.
In the month of October, Stroud threw for 15 touchdowns and zero interceptions in four wins for the Buckeyes. If he continues at this pace he has a very hefty chance of being at the very least a Heisman finalist.
- Kenny Pickett, QB Pittsburgh
Kenny Pickett is a name that most people didn’t expect to see on a Heisman list, but thus far he has earned it. Pickett, who has played at Pitt since 2017, has made a large jump this year and has played well enough to make his way into this conversation.
Pickett has proved to be a leader for Pitt and has them playing some of their best football in recent memory. This season Pickett has thrown for 2,755 yards and 26 touchdowns, while only throwing three interceptions. Pickett is currently in the top twenty for every quarterback statistic, and it is hard to deny, even despite Pitt’s two losses, that Pickett is having a great year.
- Jordan Davis, DT Georgia
It is strange to see any sort of defensive player make a Heisman list and it is even stranger to see that player be a defensive tackle, but Davis is no normal player. The statistics don’t do him justice, and his impact goes far beyond the stat sheet.
The impact that Davis has on any given game is worthy of Heisman consideration. It takes multiple offensive players to block him on any play, and any time he has a one on one matchup, he will almost certainly take advantage of it. As the best player on the best team in the country, it makes sense that despite not being a stat sheet stuffer, Davis makes this list.