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, ranking the current five top candidates.
Lamar Jackson didn’t exactly drop back to look like he’s mortal, but he was just very, very good against Duke this week. He’s still leading, but others are nipping at his heels.
If the season ended right now, the Heisman top five would be …
Post-Week 7 Race For The Heisman Rankings
1. QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville, Soph.
How do you know you’re having a great year? You throw for 181 yards and a score with no picks, and run for 144 yards and a touchdown in a double-digit point win, and it seems like a bit of a bad day. He’s still dynamic, and he’s still terrific, but will he have any big moments left other than the Houston game? He might start to slip in a Signature Player of the Season sort of way because of …
2. QB Jalen Hurts, Fr.
Could another No. 2 from Alabama win the Heisman for a second year in a row? The defense is dominating, and the offensive line is rocking, but Hurts is proving to be the star of the No. 1 team in the country, completing 16-of-26 passes for 143 yards with a pick, and with 132 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries, in the blowout win over Tennessee. He’s been the stunningly-steady, calm leader playing beyond his years. The next few weeks against Texas A&M and LSU will make-or-break his campaign.
3. QB J.T. Barrett, Ohio State, Jr.
There are wins and performances that go beyond the stats. Barrett threw for 226 yards and a touchdown with a pick against Wisconsin, and he led the team with 92 yards with two scores, but he was able to lead the way to a huge second half against a frothing-at-the-mouth defense in the most hostile of environments. That was a terrific win for the Buckeyes, and Barrett was the reason why they got it.
4. QB Deshaun Watson, Jr.
While Clemson struggled to get past NC State – and probably should’ve lost – Watson did his part throwing for 378 yards and two touchdowns with a pick – the ground game wasn’t working – and he ran for 35 yards and a score. Lamar Jackson made his Heisman case against Florida State, and in a few weeks, Watson will get his shot.
5. QB Jake Browning, Washington, Soph.
Off this week, Washington’s been great, and Browning has been terrific, but beating up on Oregon and Stanford isn’t quite as great as it looks. He’ll get the Heisman love as the main man on a great team with a mediocre schedule, but he’ll need others to collapse to really and truly get into the hunt.
In the green room waiting for a call
QB Trevor Knight, Texas A&M, Sr.; LB/KR Jabrill Peppers, Michigan; RB Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego State