Photo courtesy of cashherald.com | Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield is a consensus early Heisman Trophy winner according to most experts. Mayfield hopes to lead the Sooners back to the College Football Playoff for the second time in three years.
This college football season has been full of surprises, and the Heisman race has been no different. Other than reigning winner Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, many of the preseason favorites have disappointed.
Ohio State QB JT Barrett, Washington QB Jake Browning, and Penn State RB Saquan Barkley have all failed to live up to expectations for some reason or another, and as a result, have fallen off the list of favorites.
Barrett has failed to show any signs of improvement with his passing mechanics, while Browning has taken a step back with the loss of his top receiver from last year. Barkley, on the other hand, has fallen due to lack of carries.
In addition to Jackson, Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, UCLA QB Josh Rosen, Oklahoma St. QB Mason Rudolph and USC QB Sam Darnold have emerged as the top five candidates at this point.
Jackson has already complied nearly 1400 yards of offense in three games to go along with 11 touchdowns. Should Jackson keep up this pace, he could become the first two-time Heisman winner since Archie Griffin in the 1970s and the second ever.
Although Mayfield doesn’t have the rushing yards Jackson does, he is right there with him in passing yards, throwing for 1066 yards and 10 touchdowns so far. He also has a much better completion percentage than Jackson, connecting on 76.8 percent of his throws.
Rosen has had as much hype as any QB prospect since Andrew Luck, and has struggled to break through the last couple of years. If he is able to stay in the race, the comeback led against Texas A&M will serve as his signature moment.
His numbers stack up well, as he’s already thrown for 1283 yards and 13 touchdowns in three games to go along with a 65 percent completion percentage.
Rudolph has boosted his stock the most thus far this season, as he’s been lighting up opposing defenses with ease. His 1135 passing yards and 11 touchdowns could possibly be higher if his team wasn’t consistently blowing out opponents and putting in backups.
Darnold has disappointed somewhat, but coupled with the fact the he has thrown for 1002 yards and seven touchdowns through three games show just how high expectations were for him.
It’s still early in the year, and there’s still time for new candidates to emerge and current ones to fall some. But so far, these five have impressed almost everyone, and aren’t showing signs of slowing down.
By: Donnie Menke ~Staff Writer~