Who are the signature players so far this college football season? Who belongs front and center in the Heisman chase? Welcome to the weekly Race to the Heisman, ranking the current five top candidates.
The Heisman isn’t about who the best player is, and it’s not about who’ll be the No. 1 pick in the draft – DeShone Kizer will get his reward in April. The greatest individual trophy in sports goes to the top offensive player on the top team – who’s the signature player of the college football season? After Week 3, the Race For The Heisman is clearing up fast. If the season ended right now, the Heisman top five would be …
Post-Week 3 Race For The Heisman Rankings
1. QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville, Soph.
How good has Jackson been? He threw for 417 yards and five scores against Marshall, and his yards per attempt actually dropped. The bar has been set ridiculously high now – 62 yards and rushing scores and two touchdown doesn’t seem like any big deal. But now comes the mic drop moment for the Heisman going to Clemson. Win in Death Valley and outplay Deshaun Watson, and this thing might be over. It’s just that easy.
2. QB Greg Ward, Houston, Jr.
Texas State was never going to be a problem, but Ward did his part to make the game a laugher completing 20-of-26 passes for 289 yards and two scores, and he ran for a touchdown. His worth is more as an MVP candidate considering what he brings to the Cougars – he can’t keep up the statistical pace with Jackson. However, he’ll get his shot in November to take the Heisman front-runner spot with LJack and the Cardinals come to town.
3. RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford, Jr.
QB Ryan Burns turned into the hero against UCLA, but it was McCaffrey who did everything else running for 138 yards. However, he wasn’t able to break free with just two catches for 13 yards and wasn’t able to get into the end zone. That’s nitpicking considering what he means to the Cardinal attack.
4. QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson, Jr.
Okay over the first part of the year, he wasn’t accurate enough against Auburn and Troy and seemed a little tentative. A few early runs against Georgia Tech later, and he looked like the Deshaun Watson of 2015 again throwing for 304 yards and two scores with a pick to go along with an effective 36 rushing yards. All that did was set the stage for what’s coming next. Beat Louisville and outplay Lamar Jackson, and he’s the front-runner.
5. QB Trevor Knight, Texas A&M, Sr.
While he’s only completing 54% of his passes and he doesn’t have the stats of some of the other stars, he’s been absolutely perfect for the Texas A&M offense in a 4-0 start. All he did was beat UCLA’s Josh Rosen, get out of Auburn with a win, and run by Arkansas in a key SEC West shootout. He’s thrown for 225 yards or more in each of the first four games, but against the Hogs it was the 157-yard, two score rushing day that helped turn the game around. Tennessee and Alabama are coming up soon as showcase games to make a huge statement in the race.
In the green room waiting for a call
QB J.T. Barrett, Ohio State, Jr.; QB Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech, Jr.; RB Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego State