2017 Heisman Race: After Week 8
Who are the leaders in the race for the 2017 Heisman Trophy?
Top Heisman Contenders After Week 8 Are …
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It’s not just about who the best players are, and it’s not about who the most talented players are. The Heisman goes to the one who leads the pack in the popularity contest. At this point in the year, who are the top stars in the race for the biggest individual prize in American sports?
5. QB J.T. Barrett, Ohio State
Alright, J.T. Here’s your national moment.
Ohio State quarterbacks since Troy Smith never get any Heisman love, and the Buckeye loss to Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma will be a problem for the candidacy. But if Barrett can rip apart Penn State and outplay Saquon Barkley in a win, all of a sudden he’ll likely be in everyone’s top three.
The stats are there – hitting 67% of his passes for 1,838 yards and 21 touchdowns with just one interception, with five rushing scores. Now the big wins have to follow.
4. QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville
It’s been said before earlier in the year, but now it rings more true than ever. He’s probably the most valuable player in college football. Take him off Louisville, and maybe it’s 2-6.
When you’re lighting up most ACC teams, that’s great, but when you’re running for 178 yards and a score, and throwing for 156 yards and a touchdown in a road win over a desperate Florida State team full of NFL defensive talent, you’re going to be third or fourth on every ballot.
3. RB Bryce Love, Stanford
He had the week off and lost ground to Saquon Barkley and Baker Mayfield in the race. The key will be the finishing kick – he’ll have to rock against Washington State, Washington and Notre Dame over the last five games.
The numbers are still special with 1,387 yards and 11 touchdowns over seven games, but he’ll have to step up his game with Notre Dame’s Josh Adams starting to challenge some of the overall numbers after averaging ten yards per pop against USC.
2. QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Mayfield still should be the No. 1 guy in the race, but Barkley what seems like more national respect. Barkley is the more talented player, and he’s come up with magical performances with everyone watching, but Mayfield deserves to be the clubhouse leader.
The Ohio State game still ranks as the biggest and most important by anyone this year, but the resume is getting better and better.
With everything on the line against Texas, after getting beaten up all game long, he led the way on a game-winning drive – and then he did it again.
It was a rough day at Kansas State, but he once again came through in the clutch to pull out the 42-35 win. Yeah, he threw a pick, but he also hit 32-of-41 passes for 410 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran for 69 yards and two scores.
1. RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State
THAT’S what you do when the lights are on.
In comes the big, bad Michigan defensive front that was hell-bent on stopping No. 26, and happens? 69 yards for a touchdown – game over.
Yeah, Barkley was bottled up for most of the remaining parts of the game, and he still came up with three touchdowns and finished with over seven yards per carry. With Michigan doing everything to stop him, Trace McSorley had a slightly easier time stepping up and producing.
But there are two more make-or-break moments. To stay ahead of Mayfield, he has to do what the OU star did and light up Ohio State in a win in Columbus. And then he has do it all against against Michigan State, taking Penn State to the Big Ten championship.
Top 5 Players On The Verge …
In alphabetical order …
RB Josh Adams, Notre Dame
QB Kenny Hill, TCU
QB Jalen Hurts, Alabama
QB Khalil Tate, Arizona
RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin