Who are the signature players so far this college football season? Who belongs front and center in the Heisman chase? It’s the weekly Race to the Heisman Trophy, ranking the current five top candidates.
It’s no longer Lamar Jackson and a bunch of guys in the race for the Heisman Trophy. However, where’s the No. 2 guy? How about the No. 3, 4, or anyone else you want to name? After Jackson’s problems against Houston, there’s a path now for other options, but one has to step up on the big stage to take it away from the Cardinal star.
If the season ended right now, the Heisman top five would be …
Post-Week 12 Race For The Heisman Rankings
1. QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville, Soph.
It wasn’t his fault. The offensive line was criminally bad, but Jackson did what he could with Houston Cougars sitting on him all day long. Even so, he still threw for 211 yards and a score, while the 33 rushing yards were only because of all the sacks. The bloom is off the rose, but statistically, this is still his season with 3,109 passing yards and 28 scores with six picks, to go along with 1,367 rushing yards and 19 scores.
2. QB Jalen Hurts, Alabama, Fr.
The chances will be there for everyone to see the young superstar and – considering the team needed a QB to step up – the MVP of the season. He’s connecting on 65% of his passes for 2,168 yards and 19 scores with seven picks, and he’s run for 803 yards and 11 scores. Rock against Auburn and in the SEC title game against Florida, and this gets interesting.
3. LB/S/PR Jabrill Peppers, Michigan, Jr.
While he hasn’t blown anyone away with anything truly sensational, he’s second on the team in tackles, first in tackles for loss, and he’s still been dangerous as a kick and punt returner. This is more of a projection – rock when the world is watching against Ohio State, win the game, and do it again in the Big Ten championship, and he’ll make his case.
4. QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma, Sr.
Last year, Mayfield hit 68% of his passes for 3,700 yards and 36 scores and seven picks for an entire season and bowl game, while rushing for seven scores. This year, with two games to go – Oklahoma State and then the bowl – he’s hitting 71% of his throws for 3,381 yards and 35 touchdowns with eight picks and six rushing scores. He’s as hot and as good as any quarterback in the country right now.
5. RB D’Onta Foreman, Texas, Jr.
Like Lamar Jackson, it’s not his fault. He’s doing everything possible to carry the team, and even though he was stuffed on the games’ biggest play, he was fed the ball 51 times against Kansas for 250 yards and two scores. With 1,863 yards and 15 touchdowns, he’s on the way to the Doak Walker – with all due respect to Donnel Pumphrey – and is at least worthy of a trip to New York.
In the green room waiting for a call
QB J.T. Barrett, Ohio State, Jr.; QB Jake Browning, Washington, Soph. ; RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State, Jr.; QB Sam Darnold, USC, Fr.; RB Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego State, Sr.; QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson, Jr.