Heisman trophy favorites


Joe Robbins/Getty Images/TNS

Mac Jones #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide warms up prior to the Vrbo Citrus Bowl against the Michigan Wolverines at Camping World Stadium on January 1, 2020 in Orlando, Florida.

Quinn Newhouse, Sports Editor

We’re approaching the time of year during this wild season of college football in which the greatest player in the country receives the covenant Heisman Trophy. The biggest solo award in college football, the Heisman Trophy has long been given to the pinnacle of excellence on and off the field. This year, even with the massive shutdowns and delayals of sports, the college football season is now finally in full swing with all Power 5 conferences back. The return of the Big 10 and the Pac-12 has arisen some new favorites in the Heisman race, so let’s take a look.

As of right now, three clear favorites for the title have emerged. Those players are Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Alabama quarterback Mac Jones and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. From all odds so far, Lawrence and Jones are the projected favorites. However, Fields has put up outstanding stat lines and performances against high-caliber defenses as well, so he should not be counted out so early.

Starting with Fields, although Ohio State and the rest of the Big Ten have had a delayed start, he has shown out to be a dominant leader on this young Ohio State offense. At the time of writing, Ohio State is 5-0, and Fields has thrown 15 touchdown passes and 1,407 yards in those games. With a young but talented offensive core of wide receivers Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave and running back Master Teague III, Fields and the Buckeyes have a firm chance of winning the Big Ten. This would definitely give Fields a boost in the Heisman rankings.

 Lawrence, however suffered time away from the field due to COVID-19, and has still maintained a top place in the college football ranks. Clemson is currently 8-1, with the only loss being to Notre Dame while Lawrence was recovering from COVID-19. Now back at the helm of the Tigers’ offense, Clemson is ready to bounce back after the loss. Even after missing a week, Lawrence still has tallied 20 TDs and only three interceptions this entire season, good enough for an 86.5 quarterback rating. Known for being one of the most accurate slingers in today’s college football, Lawrence easily separates himself from the pack with his needle-threading passes, matching his arm strength as well. 

Finally, Jones is currently leading in the Heisman rankings. Jones, who no one expected to be this strong of a candidate this year, has turned around Alabama from last year’s misery with an injured Tua Tagovailoa. Jones, running back Najee Harris and star wideout DeVonta Smith have really led Alabama’s young offense. Last year, Alabama lost Tua Tagovailoa, wide receivers Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy and offensive tackle Jedrick Wills in the draft. However the trio have spearheaded the young Crimson Tide squad into a new era of Alabama football. Jones has so far recorded 18 touchdown passes.

Other candidates to watch for would be Florida quarterback Kyle Trask, an explosive player with an accurate arm, USC quarterback Kedon Slovis and NDSU quarterback Trey Lance.

The winner will be announced on Jan. 5. Until then, there’s much more football left to play.