Heisman Watch: Athlon Ranks Two Georgia Bulldogs In The SEC’s Top Ten Candidates For 2017
Georgia has not had a Heisman Trophy winner since Herschel Walker did it in 1982. Could either of these Georgia players listed below bring the trophy back to Athens?
Athlon Sports recently ranked the SEC’s Top 10 most likely candidates to win the 2017 Heisman Trophy. Georgia is well represented on the list by senior running back Nick Chubb and sophomore quarterback Jacob Eason.
Chubb, who returned to Athens for his senior season, rushed for 1,130 yards and 8 touchdowns last season. Georgia’s second all-time rushing leader, came back from a serious knee injury during his sophomore year to once again lead the Bulldogs in rushing. Chubb is ranked 5th on the list.
Just about everybody inside and outside of Athens were shocked to see that Chubb and fellow tailback Sony Michel were going to return to Georgia for their senior years. Chubb appeared to be fully healthy in 2016 after recovering from knee surgery and there are only a handful of players capable of completely taking over a game. If the Bulldogs’ offensive line can come together and create space, Chubb could run from Atlanta and the SEC title game right on up to New York.
Eason, the nation’s No.1 quarterback recruit coming out of high school, had a good year as a freshman. He started 12 of 13 games and passed for 2,430 yards and 16 touchdowns. He kept numerous drives alive with clutch third down plays but had a tendency not to pick out open receivers. The learning process for an SEC quarterback, especially a true freshman, is mind-boggling, but the Lake Stevens, WA gunslinger acquitted himself well. Eason is ranked No. 9 on Athlon’s list.
Georgia experienced some growing pains in head coach Kirby Smart’s first year on the job and part of that had to do with turning the offense over to a true freshman in Eason. While he had his ups and downs while getting his feet wet, the former five-star quarterback with an impressive supporting cast is one reason why folks keep increasing expectations for the Bulldogs. If Eason can make the leap as a sophomore and put up big numbers while leading his team to a conference title (and likely the College Football Playoff if so), then he’s bound to be involved with the Heisman come December.