College football is peaking its head around the corner. Soon we will be awash in Saturday excellence. These are the leading contenders to become the talk of the town and hoist the Heisman Trophy in New York City, per Bovada odds. Choose wisely.
Tua Taglovailoa, Alabama QB, +700
He first needs to win the Tide’s quarterback battle. He will. We all saw what he could do when he came in and won a national championship. And we know he’ll have an unassailable offensive line and playmakers surrounding him. That said, he doesn’t have a wealth of experience to draw upon. This line is indicative of the public’s love affair with Alabama football, and perhaps one to stay away from.
Bryce Love, Stanford RB, +700
The Cardinal back is coming off a year in which he amassed 2,118 yards and posted an absurd 8.1 yard/carry. There’s no reason to believe he’ll suddenly become constrained by the laws of man. Love’s chances rely heavily on Stanford’s success in the Pac-12. Safe pick to get to the ceremony.
Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin RB, +800
Much like Love, Taylor is reliable and will given ample opportunity to rack up eye-popping stats in a run-first offense. Expect him to breeze to 2,000 and for the Badgers to once again play in the Big Ten title game. And perhaps win it this time.
Jake Fromm, Georgia QB, +1500
The sophomore recently broke his non-throwing hand, so there’s cause for concern. But with the Bulldogs once again a national title contender and more wide-open offense looming in the wake of running back departures, Fromm should improve on his stellar freshman campaign.
Khalil Tate, Arizona QB, +1500
The spell-binding runner was an equal opportunity assassin last year, amassing 1,591 yards through the air and 1,441 on ground. The Wildcats brought in Kevin Sumlin, who knows a thing or two about grooming a Heisman winner, and Tate won’t be playing triple option. There’s no doubt in my mind that gaudy numbers will be posted. I just don’t think a 7-5 record is going to do much to help.
Will Grier, West Virginia QB, +1500
No Mountaineer has ever won college football’s top prize. Grier, who threw for 36 touchdowns in an injury shortened season, could change that. The Big 12 defenses will be willing and he is able.
Trace McSorley, Penn State QB, +1500
He’s never met a big play he didn’t like. His partner in crime Saquon Barkley is off to the NFL. The Nittany Lions get Ohio State and Penn State at home this year. Everything is in place. This is the value pick. Trust me.
Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State QB, +1500
The sophomore was productive in limited action, completing 70 percent of his passes. The Michigan comeback showed his mettle. Urban Meyer has been known to mold a quarterback. The issue, for me, is that he’ll be competing with Dobbins for all the juicy touchdowns and yardage. Good problem for Ohio State to have.
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson QB, +1500
Just stay away from this one. Dabo Swinney is more likely to go with Kelly Bryant anyway. Not that Lawrence, an all-everything prospect, won’t be great when given the opportunity. It’ll just take a bit for him to get it.
J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State RB, +1800
Just a sophomore, Dobbins has unlimited potential. He should improve on his 1,403-yard campaign and be right at the heart of the Buckeyes’ offense. The thing that’s most attractive, though, is how many big games he’ll play in.