Joe Burrow just put together one of the best seasons a quarterback has ever had in college football. Not only that but he did it in the SEC where he faces some of the toughest defenses in the country on a weekly basis. He was a no-doubt Heisman winner for weeks leading up to the award ceremony. Burrow is out and now headed to the NFL. So who should we expect to lift the Heisman Award next season?
Looking ahead to next year’s Heisman odds, there are really only two players who can be considered favorites this early when you consider the odds.
Justin Fields QB – Ohio State Buckeyes
Joe Burrow isn’t the only Heisman finalist moving onto the next stage. In fact, Justin Field is the only Heisman finalist who is returning next season so it makes sense that he enters as the early favorite. Fields will enter the 2020 season as a junior and it will more than likely be his final collegiate season. Fields finished last season 23rd in passing yards (3,273), third in touchdown passes (41) and tied for third in fewest interceptions (3). He finished third in Heisman voting behind Burrow and Jalen Hurts. Fields should be able to build on last season’s success as he gets more accustomed to coach Ryan Day. His second full season as a starter should be a big one.
Trevor Lawrence QB – Clemson Tigers
It is no surprise that Trevor Lawrence is one of the other favorites to take home the Heisman Award next season. Lawrence has just one loss in his collegiate career and while his numbers weren’t on Burrow’s level last season, they were still impressive. Lawrence was 10th in passing yards (3,665), fifth in touchdown passes (36) and tied-55th in interceptions (8). The truth is, the Heisman Award does consider winning to some extent whether or now they publicly admit to it or not. Lawrence is a winner and his Tigers are the favorite to win it all next season. If he can cut back on the interceptions and continue to increase his passing numbers as he did from his freshman to sophomore year, Lawrence will not only be a Heisman finalist but perhaps a winner.
The Value Guys
After Fields and Lawrence, the odds start to drop hard. Despite the huge drop-offs, there are still plenty of players who have excellent shots at winning the Heisman while also providing excellent payouts. These players here have excellent value and a realistic shot at hoisting the Heisman in December.
Jamie Newman QB – Georgia Bulldogs
Jamie Newman comes over to Georgia as a transfer from Wake Forest. Newman didn’t have the type of incredible numbers last season that would make you think he is a serious Heisman candidate this season but he sure is. Newman is a different type of quarterback than Georgia’s former quarterback Jake Fromm. Newman is a duel-threat quarterback that brings a different type of play style to the Georgia offense. Newman has 2,868 passing yards, 574 rushing yards and 32 total touchdowns last season. If Georgia can adjust their playbook to accommodate Newman he could be in for a huge season for a Georgia team that is once again expected to be one of the best in the country.
Travis Etienne RB – Clemson Tigers
If Clemson has a Heisman winner this season, it may not be Trevor Lawrence. Travis Etienne is the highest favorite of any non-quarterback positions. Etienne was once again the ACC offensive player of the year last season. Returning for his senior season, Etienne will be looking to boost his draft stock and what better way than taking home a Heisman Award? Etienne is already the all-time ACC leader in career rushing touchdowns, career total touchdowns and career points for a non-kicker. Last season he was seventh in the nation in rushing yards (1,614) and tied for eighth with 19 rushing touchdowns. Etienne was able to accomplish those feats despite only running the ball 207 times last season (35th) because of his insane 7.8 yards per carry (2nd). It is always worth a shot to bet on the best non-quarterback player in the country, especially when his team is the favorite to win another title.
Just because someone is a longshot at this point in the year doesn’t mean they don’t have a chance. Burrow was a 50/1 odds player in June of last year and we saw what he did on his way to winning the Heisman. These longshots here have excellent opportunities to repeat what Burrow did last year.
Kellen Mond QB – Texas A&M Aggies
Kellen Mond and the Texas A&M Aggies didn’t have the type of season they were expected to have last year. The Aggies did have one of the toughest schedules in the country last season so that didn’t help things. Under the guidance of Jimbo Fisher, Mond should be able to put together a huge senior season down in College Station. Mond was just 43rd in passing yards (2,897) and 44th in passing touchdowns (20) last season but he did add 500 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. If Mond can make the leap this offseason that many expected him to make last season, then both he and the Aggies could be in for a huge season.
Jayden Daniels QB – Arizona State Sun Devils
Jayden Daniels was just a freshman at Arizona State last season but if you watched him enough he certainly didn’t look like one. Daniels was an explosive and exciting player to watch at times last year and he did so while protecting the ball as well as any quarterback in the country. Daniels only threw two interceptions in 338 pass attempts and he completed nearly 61% of those passes. He was 39th in the country with 2,943 passing yards. He didn’t have huge ground numbers but he still managed 355 rushing yards and three touchdowns. His 125 rushing attempts mean that Daniels is looking to be a duel-threat quarterback for the Sun Devils. After a promising freshman season, Daniels is looking to make the jump into the national spotlight in his sophomore season. Maybe he won’t win the Heisman this season but he will certainly be in talks at some point this season and he could possibly be a finalist and an early favorite for the 2021 Heisman. Still, betting on him now may be worth a small bet because if you watched Daniels this past season you know he has the talent to do big things.
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