With the new college football season slowly creeping over the horizon, I want to dish out my predictions on the three guys that I think we have the best chance of seeing in New York in December. Before we get started, I just want to point out that the field this year is loaded, there were so many great players coming back this year that made this selection process very challenging. The three finalists in New York this year are going to have to put up some spectacular numbers just to even get there.
Trevor Lawrence- It doesn’t take much of an expert to guess that Trevor Lawrence will be in the Heisman conversation come the end of the season. The extremely talented sophomore will be the unquestioned quarterback the next two seasons for the Clemson Tigers and given the numbers he put up as a freshman, he’s only going to get better.
With over 3,000 passing yards and 30 touchdowns even with a slow start to his freshman campaign, look for Lawrence to blow up the stat sheets week after week this season.
The only problem with this prediction is the fact that Clemson will likely end up blowing many of their opponents out. When that happens, look for Travis Etienne to put up some enticing numbers. He was 5th last year in rushing yards as just a freshman and finished 3rd with 24 touchdowns. It was a tough call between Lawrence and Etienne to represent the Clemson, but I have to give the edge to the quarterback based on recent history. Derrick Henry and Mark Ingram are the only non-quarterbacks to win the Heisman since 2000.
Jonathan Taylor– I know I just gave a stat that said only two running backs have won the Heisman since 2000 but this kid can do it. A unanimous All-American this past season, this kid is electric. He won the Doak Walker award, which is given to the nation’s best running back this past season and has to be the favorite to do it again. With over 4,000 rushing yards his first two seasons, look for Taylor to put up another 2,000 this year.
Wisconsin puts out a solid team year in and year out, and with most of their tougher games coming at home, this year they will be a contender to represent the Big 10 West in Indianapolis.
Taylor finished 9th in the Heisman voting last season and with the numbers he put up, he’s going to need a monster year. Wisconsin will certainly ride him and with a really solid offensive line that includes tackle, Cole Van Lanen, and center, Tyler Biadasz.
Sam Ehlinger– Wait where’s Tua? I don’t think he’s going to end up as a finalist. Ehlinger is ready to take the country by storm. I remember watching this kid as a freshman and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t convinced.
Dual-threat quarterbacks have had a lot of success in the Heisman Trophy races in the past and that’s why I’m giving the edge to Ehlinger. Playing in the Big 12 means you’re probably going to be involved in a lot of shootouts and shootouts mean a lot of points which means a lot of touchdowns. Ehlinger accounted for 41 last year with 16 of those coming on the ground.
Every time Texas shows a glimpse of being good, people start to ask “Is Texas back?”. Well if the Longhorns are going to be contenders again and announce themselves as being back, Ehlinger is going to put up the numbers to be a Heisman Trophy candidate.
Other Candidates Considered: