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2020 Heisman Trophy Race

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So far, the runaway favourite for the Heisman this year seems to be Trevor Lawrence. But that could always change... any thoughts/predictions?

247Sports: Updated Heisman Trophy odds ahead of Week 1

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College football season hasn't yet kicked off in the Power Five ranks yet the Heisman Trophy picture is already beginning to form. The race for the nation's top individual award is heavy on quarterbacks this fall and with the Big Ten and Pac-12's decision to postpone games until later, that wipes away several high-profile candidates from the list of frontrunners.

The most notable exclusion within updated odds is Ohio State signal caller Justin Fields, one of the preseason favorites when initial odds were revealed in August. A projected first-round pick in next year's NFL Draft, Fields took the Big Ten by storm during his first campaign with the Buckeyes last season, running away with the league's Offensive Player of the Year honors while leading Ohio State to the final four.

Other players now off the board, albeit longshots, include Nebraska's Adrian Martinez, Penn State's Micah Parsons and USC quarterback Kedon Slovis. The reigning Biletnikoff winner, Ja'Marr Chase from LSU, announced this week he was opting out, joining a growing list of potential candidates who aren't willing to risk their health during an unprecedented season of unknowns. Here's a look at updated Heisman odds entering Week 1 via SportsLine, with notable favorites and a few darkhorses sprinkled in:

Kyle Trask, QB, Florida

Let's start two longshots, who according to the experts at SportsLine, didn't quite make the cut for the Top 11. Could Trask be the next great quarterback in Gainesville? As Florida's emergency starter last September after Feleipe Franks went down to injury, Trask never relinquished his starting role and developed into one of the SEC's most efficient passers by season's end, helping the Gators to 11 wins. Expectations are high for Trask in Year 3 under Dan Mullen this fall and rightfully so — Florida is loaded with playmakers around him that should make his job that much easier. He'll have several spotlight games with the SEC-only slate to show out nationally and was the SEC's third-most efficient player at his position last season behind Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa. That's an elite group.

Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

Check out what ACC Network analysts Wes Durham and Mark Packer had to say about Etienne's brilliance during 'Clemson Takeover' last month. They believe he's in the conversation as the greatest player in league history.

"He’s been two-time ACC player of the year and by winning those, it now puts him in the conversation with Ted Brown at NC State as the best running back in ACC history,” Durham said. "He’s 564 yards away from eclipsing Brown's career rushing yards in ACC history but here’s my question — is Travis Etienne in the conversation for the greatest player in ACC football history? To me, if he wins a third straight player of the year in 2020, it’s a lock. Some will say he didn’t do what Jameis (Winston) or Lamar Jackson did, but do you have to have a Heisman to be the greatest player in ACC history? Is he already the best in ACC history? That’s another question."

Bo Nix, QB, Auburn (+2000)

Auburn's offense sputtered at times last fall, to be expected with a true freshman at quarterback without much cohesiveness in the run game. But with Chad Morris as the Tigers' new play-caller guaranteed to toss a wrinkle or two into Auburn's scheme, perhaps Nix could emerge as one of the league's best this season under center. His play in 2019 revealed obvious strengths — a competitive fire second to none and comfort level within Gus Malzahn's philosophy offensively. Nix has a high ceiling and many think he'll be one of college football's breakout performers as a sophomore in the SEC.

Myles Brennan, QB, LSU (+2000)

One of the guys on our list of players who must have elite seasons, Brennan steps in for Joe Burrow to try and replicate record-setting success for the defending national champions. How's that for pressure? Oddsmakers aren't willing to lose the house on LSU's new signal caller in 2020 after Joe Burrow was a 50/1 longshot last season to win the Heisman and responded with the singlemost impressive season in college football history from a passing standpoint. Given the departure of Joe Brady to the Carolina Panthers, the Tigers lose half of the braintrust behind their renovated passing attack. And this week's unexpected departure of Ja'Marr Chase, who was the nation's top returning receiver, means Brennan has his work cut out for him.

Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina (+1900)

Howell is one of the reasons North Carolina is a sexy pick to hang with Clemson and Notre Dame near the top this season in the ACC, a league that will be even more exciting with the adoption of a 10-game, plus-one format. Howell ended his true freshman season last fall with 3,641 yards through the air and 38 touchdowns, marks that outshined Trevor Lawrence in his own conference. His touchdown-pass total ranked third-most in ACC single-season history, just behind future first-round picks Deshaun Watson and Jameis Winston, respectively.

Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State (+1800)

The nation’s leading rusher finished the season with 2,094 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2019, joining the legendary Barry Sanders as only the second player in program history to rush for 2,000 yards or more in a single campain. Sanders' mark of 2,628 in 1988 still ranks as the highest single-season performance in college football history. Hubbard is the reason many analysts have picked Oklahoma State as a Big 12 and College Football Playoff darkhorse this fall. His decision to return for another go-around potential turns the Cowboys from good to great.

Ian Book, Notre Dame, QB (+1700)

There might not be a player nationally receiving as little buzz at the quarterback spot despite proven ability as the face of a national title contender. Book, who is 20-3 as a starter with the Irish, finished his junior campaign with 3,034 yards and 34 touchdowns, career-highs in both categories. And still, he's a longshot to win the Heisman in his final season. Over the final four games of the season against Navy, Boston College, Stanford and Iowa State, Book completed 77-of-118 passes (63.3 percent) for 1,025 yards and 13 scores with zero interceptions. He was stellar down the stretch, helping Notre Dame finish with a bang. Book is one of the more experienced signal callers in college football this season as the unquestioned star of a Top 15 team.

Jamie Newman, QB, Georgia (+1500)

Newman's odds improved from +1600 this spring to +1000 earlier this summer and now they've returned to the early 2020 number.Newman is one of several high-profile transfers in college football this season who could substantially improve his draft stock with his new team. Underrated during his career as a prolific quarterback at Wake Forest, Newman steps into the spotlight at Georgia following Jake Fromm's departure and has a chance to enter the first-round realm with a memorable season. Newman led the Demon Deacons to an 8-5 record in 2019, his first and only season as the full-time starter. He completed 220 of 361 passes (60.9 percent) for 2,868 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He also did quite a bit of damage on the ground, piling up 574 yards and six touchdowns on 180 carries and that includes sacks. He started all 13 games for Wake Forest in 2019.

Mac Jones, Alabama, QB (+1400)

Let's keep the Bryce Young buzz to a minimum for a moment. When Alabama kicks off on Sept. 26 at Missouri, Mac Jones will be the Crimson Tide's QB1 as a fourth-year junior and anxious to prove he's the best option under center for the Crimson Tide this season. That doesn't mean Young won't play, but Jones stepped in and played nicely in Tua Tagovailoa's absence last fall, going 2-1 as a starter including a terrific performance in the bowl win over Michigan. Playing quarterback for the preseason SEC favorite comes with a ton of pressure and playing well automatically pushes you to the front of the Heisman picture. After opening at +2200 earlier this year, Jones might not be a bad bet at +1600 to enter finalist buzz.

Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas (+1200)

Ehlinger's odds have fluctuated throughout the offseason, largely because oddsmakers just aren't sure if the Longhorns will be elite this fall. Ahead of the season opener, Ehlinger's odds at +1400 are the highest we've seen. Coming off another impressive season statistically in Austin, Ehlinger enters his senior season at Texas with one last opportunity to win a Big 12 Championship. Marking his third season as the starter for Tom Herman, Ehlinger this fall gets a new offensive coordinator to bring out his best, Mike Yurcich (Ohio State). Ehlinger rushed and threw for more yards last season than he did in 2018 and has 80 total touchdowns over his last 27 starts.

D'Eriq King, QB, Miami (+1000)

One player whose Heisman stock continues to rise, King is a dynamic athlete as a dual-threat option and comes to Coral Gables from Houston where he redshirted last season. His arrival is why many believe Miami will be a top-tier finisher in the ACC, given the Hurricanes' returning stars on defense and the likelihood King directs the offense where it needs to be. Quarterback play has been the primary issue keeping Miami away from national relevancy in recent years and now the Hurricanes believe they've got the right man for the job.

Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma (+800)

Officially named Oklahoma's starter this week, Rattler is another first-year starter facing a tremendous amount of pressure as the new QB1 for a Playoff contender. Rattler is one of the frontrunners due to the respect level oddsmakers have for Lincoln Riley and his QB-friendly system. All three of his quarterbacks at Oklahoma have made the trip to NYC as Heisman Trophy finalists since he took over following Bob Stoops' resignation in 2017. Baker Mayfield (2017) and Kyler Murray (2018) won the award, while Jalen Hurts finished second following his transfer from Alabama. Rattler was the only quarterback 247Sports rated as a five-star in the class of 2019, and he played sparingly last season, allowing him to maintain his redshirt status.

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson (+200)

Prior to the Big Ten and Pac-12's decision to cancel, Lawrence was No. 2 behind Fields at +400. Now, his odds have improved substantially as the favorite. One of college football's hottest quarterbacks down the stretch as a sophomore, Lawrence's so-so performance in the national championship game vs. LSU doesn't change the fact he is deserving of top Heisman billing heading into a new season given his talent level and the guys around him. The presumptive No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft per various insiders, including Mel Kiper Jr., Lawrence was the co-Heisman favorite alongside Tua Tagovailoa in 2019 before a shaky September pushed him far back of the finalist group.

Garrett Stepien: Ranking top 12 candidates for Heisman Trophy in 2020 season

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If the 2019 Heisman Trophy race taught college football anything, it is not an exact science. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, the graduate transfer from Ohio State, took an astronomical second-year jump and won the award with a historical season. Burrow's climb led to a 2020 NFL Draft stock that made him the clearcut No. 1 overall pick. Is there anyone out there with the possibility of making a similar leap this fall?

As the time winds down on August and September nears, a preseason Heisman watch heats up. Although two of the Power Five conferences postponed their seasons to with a hope of playing this spring, returning talent is abundant and should make for an exciting race. Bleacher Report set the table with a ranking of the top 12 candidates. Listed from 12th to first, here is a closer look at the 2020 Heisman field.

12.) Kyle Trask, Florida QB — After entering the 2019 season as a backup to Feleipe Franks, Trask took over because of an injury and the Gators did not miss a beat. In fact, UF improved. Through 12 games (10 starts), Trask completed 237 of 354 passes (66.9 percent) for 2,941 yards and 25 touchdowns to seven interceptions. Florida went 11-2 overall and 6-2 against SEC play, with Trask not only keeping the Gators going but elevating an offense overseen by head coach Dan Mullen. Trask is technically a second-year starter, but 2020 marks the first full season with him leading UF's offense. That could lead to an even bigger jump for the 6-foot-5, 239-pounder.

11.) Jamie Newman, Georgia QB — While the Georgia starting quarterback competition also includes USC transfer J.T. Daniels, Newman got a head start. The Wake Forest graduate transfer enrolled at UGA in January, coming off a breakout 2019 season. Newman completed 220 of 361 (60.9 percent) passes for 2,868 yards and 26 touchdowns to 11 interceptions in 12 games. A dual-threat quarterback, he did some damage with his legs as well with 180 carries for 574 yards (3.2 average) and six touchdowns. As the Bulldogs welcome first-year offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Todd Monken, his dynamic option from Wake Forest has a one-year window to show what he can do on a big stage in the SEC.

10.) Myles Brennan, LSU QB — Next in line to run LSU's offense after a breakout 2019 season by Burrow, how will Brennan do upon taking the reins? The fourth-year junior has a tough act to follow, but a talented team again with the Tigers. A former four-star recruit from Bay St. Louis (Miss.) St. Stanislaus for the 2017 class, Brennan saw time in each of his first three seasons. As a third-year sophomore behind Burrow, he completed 24 of 40 passes (60.0 percent) for 353 yards and one touchdown to one interception in 10 games. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder is one to keep an eye on at the least after seeing how LSU's revamped system (despite no longer having passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach Joe Brady) helped develop Burrow.

9.) D'Eriq King, Miami QB — Despite redshirting after a four-game start to the 2019 season at Houston, do not forget how dominant King was with the Cougars as a junior for the 2018 campaign. While in the Group of Five, King was a full-blown star at Houston, completing 219 of 345 passes (63.5 percent) for 2,982 yards and 36 touchdowns to six interceptions. Through the 11-game run, King added a dual-threat dynamic by taking 111 carries for 674 yards (6.1 average) and 14 touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 202-pounder arrives to Miami with first-year offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Rhett Lashlee and could be a missing piece as the Hurricanes look to finally turn things around.

8.) Sam Howell, North Carolina QB

247Sports' Take: Remember when North Carolina head coach Mack Brown flipped Monroe (N.C.) Sun Valley four-star Sam Howell, formerly a long-time commitment to the Florida State Seminoles? The move paid off in a big way early on, with a first-year breakout for 2019 greatly accelerating the Tar Heels' rebuild. The 247Sports Composite's No. 93 overall prospect, No. 3 dual-threat quarterback and No. 2 player in North Carolina for the 2019 recruiting class came to UNC with a historical debut during a 7-6 overall (4-4 ACC) season.

Howell was the offensive and overall ACC Rookie of the Year after completing 259 of 422 passes (61.4 percent) for 3,641 yards and 38 touchdowns — a single-season FBS true freshman record — and seven interceptions in 13 games. The 6-foot-1, 225-pounder added one rushing score. Still hungry after an expectations-exceeding debut, imagine what Howell has in store for the second act.

7.) Ian Book, Notre Dame QB

247Sports' Take: A third-year starter, how high or low Ian Book goes in 2020 doubles as Notre Dame's ceiling or floor. As a fourth-year junior in 2019, Book completed 240 of 399 passes (60.2 percent) for 3,034 yards and 34 touchdowns to six interceptions — all single-season career-high numbers. He added his personal-best rushing campaign, too, taking 112 carries for 546 yards (4.9 average) and four touchdowns in 13 games. The 6-foot, 206-pounder has a unique opportunity with the Fighting Irish as an ACC football member for 2020. If ND makes a run to the conference championship, including a dethroning of Clemson, Book could be one dark horse candidate worth keeping tabs on.

6.) Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State RB

247Sports' Take: In a year where running back talent is aplenty, Chuba Hubbard is the first of only two on this list. The fourth-year junior has some huge numbers to top after a breakout season in 2019. Through 13 games, Hubbard took 328 carries for 2,094 yards (6.4 average) and 21 touchdowns. After attempting 124 rushes for 740 yards (6.0 average) and seven touchdowns as a redshirt freshman in 2018, Hubbard's breakout to become the FBS leading rusher came on the heels of a key Cowboys hire — offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson, who subsequently left to Rutgers and brings his power-spread scheme with him. The 6-foot, 208-pound Hubbard's talent is undeniable. But from a high bar set in 2019 and the change with OSU's coaching staff, monitoring Hubbard's 2020 production will be interesting to see.

5.) Travis Etienne, Clemson RB

247Sports' Take: While a certain star quarterback has headlined the Clemson offense from 2018-19, Tigers running back Travis Etienne absolutely is not to be overlooked. On top of being a top rusher nationally for the past two seasons, Etienne is Clemson's leading receiver from 2019 after the Tigers lost a key playmaker in injured wide receiver Justyn Ross. As a junior with the Tigers in 2019, Etienne caught 37 passes for 432 yards (7.8 average) and four touchdowns.

Through 15 games, he also took 207 carries for 1,614 yards (7.8 average) and 19 touchdowns. His rushing numbers were just shy of single-season career-high totals set as a sophomore during the Tigers' 2018 season, taking 204 carries for 1,658 yards (8.1 average) and 24 touchdowns. The evolution of Etienne's ability as a receiver — he caught just 12 passes for 78 yards (6.5 average) and two touchdowns in 2018 — is a key area to his 2020 Heisman candidacy, but he has a tough argument to make if Clemson keeps humming along with the Tigers' quarterback also starring.

4.) Sam Ehlinger, Texas QB

247Sports' Take: If Sam Ehlinger continues to improve after a pair of personal-best seasons, the result could go a long way for the Longhorns. His second full year as the Texas starting quarterback saw him complete 296 of 454 passes (65.2 percent) for 3,663 yards and 32 touchdowns to 10 interceptions in 13 games. He added 163 carries for 663 yards (4.1 average) and seven touchdowns. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder is a key catalyst to whether or not Texas finally — fully — breaks through as a true contender in the Big 12. Given his past production and how he factors into the Longhorns' 2020 success, Ehlinger is surely a Heisman contender. Full-season consistency as a senior will be one of the biggest areas to monitor.

3.) Mac Jones, Alabama QB

247Sports' Take: Whether or not Mac Jones ultimately ends up as Alabama's starter remains to be seen, but the fourth-year junior quarterback flashed an ability as the Crimson Tide's leader on offense late in 2019. The 6-foot-3, 214-pounder went from backup to starter after star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's season-ending injury and mostly kept Alabama afloat as a third-year sophomore.

Through 12 games (four starts), Jones completed 97 of 141 passes (68.8 percent) for 1,503 yards and 14 touchdowns to three interceptions. Jones added one rushing score. Talented five-star freshman Bryce Young could emerge as the Tide's starting quarterback when all is said and done, but Jones has a chance to contend for the Heisman if he keeps his spot and leads 'Bama back atop college football.

2.) Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma QB

247Sports' Take: Since offensive-minded Lincoln Riley became Oklahoma's head coach in 2017, the Sooners have produced a trio of Heisman finalists — including two winners — with quarterbacks Baker Mayfield (2017 winner), Kyler Murray (2018 winner) and Jalen Hurts (2019 finalist). If redshirt freshman Spencer Rattler is next up as OU' starting quarterback, a breakout first year could keep the trend going. Highly regarded as a five-star recruit out of Phoenix Pinnacle — the 247Sports Composite's No. 11 overall prospect and No. 1 pro-style quarterback for 2019 — Rattler is a prototypical fit in Riley's offense.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder's freshman sample size was limited in 2019 through three games — he completed 7 of 11 passes (63.6 percent) completed for 81 yards and one touchdown, plus three carries for 23 yards (7.7 average) — but his talent is evident. If Oklahoma wins another Big 12 title and returns to a fourth straight College Football Playoff with him leading the way, how could he not be a finalist for the Heisman?

1.) Trevor Lawrence, Clemson QB

247Sports' Take: Trevor Lawrence led Clemson to consecutive CFB Playoff national championship game appearances through his first couple of seasons as the Tigers' starter, but the junior has not been a Heisman finalist. In what has been a remarkable career for the former five-star recruit and 247Sports Composite's No. 1 overall prospect for 2018 (No. 6 all time), will he be able to close his likely last season as a Heisman finalist for 2020?

The 6-foot-6, 220-pounder has completed 527 of 804 passes (65.5 percent) for 6,945 yards and 66 touchdowns to 12 interceptions in 30 games. While a prototypical pocket passer, he has added an electric dual-threat ability, evidenced by the 163 carries for 740 yards (4.5 average) and 10 touchdowns. Despite a stretch with early-season hiccups, Lawrence ultimately improved in 2019, completing 268 of 407 passes (65.8 percent) for 3,665 yards and 36 touchdowns to eight interceptions. Through 15 games, Lawrence took 103 carries for 563 yards (5.5 average) and nine touchdowns. Lawrence's legacy with the Tigers would be cemented by a Heisman, which he should be favored to win on his junior season in 2020.

 

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I hope Spencer Rattler goes full on Rhett Bomar this season.  He sure is getting a lot of love for his 7-11 81 yards and 1 TD 2019 campaign

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3 hours ago, satyanash said:

So far, the runaway favourite for the Heisman this year seems to be Trevor Lawrence. But that could always change... any thoughts/predictions?

247Sports: Updated Heisman Trophy odds ahead of Week 1

Garrett Stepien: Ranking top 12 candidates for Heisman Trophy in 2020 season

 

BYU QB Zach Wilson may be a candidate.  

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On 9/5/2020 at 5:45 PM, lemonandaturd said:

I hope Spencer Rattler goes full on Rhett Bomar this season.  He sure is getting a lot of love for his 7-11 81 yards and 1 TD 2019 campaign

 

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On 9/5/2020 at 2:36 PM, satyanash said:

So far, the runaway favourite for the Heisman this year seems to be Trevor Lawrence. But that could always change... any thoughts/predictions?

Barring injury, it's almost a fait accompli for Lawrence at this point.  Voters are morons (see Bohls, Kurt) and will vote as the Mothership instructs them.

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15 minutes ago, Jersey Man10 said:

Who gives a fuck

This.  HT dead to me since Reggie Bush got it.

Did make some great moves vs Fresno St though.

 

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