19 for ’19: 19 key offseason topics: No. 3. who are the top Heisman candidates … besides the obvious stars?
19 for ’19 Offseason Topics
19: Best Teams To Not Make CFP
18: Teams That Will Rebound Big
17: Every Power 5 Team’s Letdown Game
16. Top 5 Instant Impact New Head Coaches
15. 2nd Year Coaches Who’ll Be Better
14. Power 5 Hot Seat Coach Rankings
13. Key Transfers You Forgot About
12. Five Big Power 5 Upset Alerts
11. Great Players About To Go Nuclear
10. Group of 5 Teams In New Year’s Six Chase
9. Power 5 Sleeper Teams
8. Most Interesting Quarterback Battles
7. Power 5 Potential Disappointments
6. Power 5 Potential Surprises
5. Ranking Group of Five Conferences
4. Ranking The Power Five Conferences
Who thought Baker Mayfield was going to win the Heisman two years ago? Okay, maybe, but who thought Kyler Murray was going to give Oklahoma back-to-back winners?
Did you see Lamar Jackson coming? How about Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton, Robert Griffin, or Jameis Winston?
That’s the crazy part of about the Heisman race – the favorites don’t always play up to the hype. That doesn’t mean they’re not good, but to win the most prestigious individual award in American sports, you need to 1) put up ridiculous numbers, 2) do it when everyone is watching in at least one or two big games, and 3) preferably be the reason a team is in a conference title chase and possibly in the mix for the College Football Playoff.
The five favorites who fit all three parts of the criteria are obvious. Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa, Georgia QB Jake Fromm, Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts, and Oregon QB Justin Herbert. The odds are strong that one of them will win it, but that’s boring.
To use a reference that only people over the age of death will get, it’s like Wheel of Fortune giving the R, S, T, L, N and E in the final puzzle. Those are a given, now it’s time to figure out the other pieces.
Here are five great players who’ll be in the mix, and five more who might just be in the race, too, starting with the long ball …
5. QB Kellen Mond, Jr. Texas A&M
Jimbo Fisher quarterbacks produce.
Deondre Francois might have had a rough run lately – for reasons not necessarily on the field – but he also stepped in as a freshman at Florida State and put up 3,350 yards and 20 scores. Jameis Winston did okay for himself, and before him, EJ Manuel ended up being the first quarterback taken in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Junior Kellen Mond might be a long, long, long shot, but he’ll have the chances to rise up immediately in the Heisman process.
He threw for over 3,100 yards in Fisher’s first season at A&M with 24 touchdown passes, to go along with 474 rushing yards and seven scores.
And now he knows what he’s doing.
TE Jace Sternberger might be a Green Bay Packer, but almost all of the other top targets from last season are back – they were almost all sophomores – and they know what they’re doing, too.
The best part about this long, long, long shot is the opportunity. If A&M can beat Clemson on September 7th – Mond threw for 430 yards in the 28-26 loss last year – then here’s your front-runner, at least in the first month of the year.
Auburn and Alabama have to come to College Station. If Mond is amazing against those two – to go along with the Clemson showdown – it’ll come down to road games at Georgia and LSU late to possibly end up in New York.
Who else is that long, long, long shot who should have several high-profile games to provide the opportunity to shine?
Alternative … WR Laviska Shenault, Jr. Colorado
He was right there in the first part of last year before getting hurt. He finished with 86 catches for 1,011 yards and six scores, and he ran for five touchdowns. Blow up against Nebraska on September 7th, and he’s on the radar with all the big Pac-12 games ahead.