Whom to watch for the Heisman

Colin Cast, Sports Team Leader

College football’s most talented players all compete for one individual award, the Heisman Trophy.

So far this year, there have been multiple college football players who have been playing amazing football and are legitimate contenders to win the Heisman.

Towards the top of ESPN’s list is Heisman Trophy candidate is Kyler Murray. Murray is a junior at the University of Oklahoma. He is a dual-threat quarterback. This is Murray’s first year starting at the university because the past two years he sat behind legendary quarterback Baker Mayfield, who is a former Heisman Trophy winner. Murray so far has thrown for 1,028 yards, 11 touchdowns, and two interceptions. He’s also rushed for 240 yards and three touchdowns. Murray has been the clear-cut projected winner since the beginning of the season.

Also towards the top of the list is quarterback Will Grier. Grier plays at the University of West Virginia and has been a Heisman favorite by many since the end of last season. So far into the season Grier has 1,117 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, and three interceptions. If Grier wants to take home the Heisman Trophy, the only thing he would have to do is continue what he’s doing.

Tua Tagovailoa is a quarterback at the University of Alabama. Last year, Tua was a backup, and Jalen Hurts was the starter. During the National Championship back in January, Hurts did not play after halftime, but Tagovailoa did. Tagovailoa led the Crimson Tide to a comeback victory over Georgia. With a spectacular performance during the end of that game, Head Coach Nick Saban chose to keep Tagovailoa has the starter for next season, and Saban made the right choice. So far into the season Tagovailoa has thrown for 1033 yards, 12 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. He has completed 72.5 percent of his passes so far. Those incredible numbers are part of the reason why Alabama is the No. 1-ranked team in the country, and also part of the reason why Tagovailoa is a top contender on winning the Heisman Trophy.

Dwayne Haskins, a sophomore quarterback at Ohio State, is also a contender. Last year, he served as a backup to quarterback J.T. Barrett. So far into the season, Haskins has thrown for 1,194 yards, 16 touchdowns, and only one interception. Haskins stats are arguably the best in college football, if he wants to win the Heisman, all he has to do is keep throwing the ball good and keep winning.

Ed Oliver is the only defensive candidate on ESPN’s list. Oliver is a defensive lineman at the University of Houston. During his college career, Oliver has been nothing less than amazing. NFL Draft experts compare him to Rams superstar Aaron Donald. So far into the season, Oliver has 27 total tackles and 13 solo tackles. If Oliver wins the Heisman, he would be the 2nd defensive player ever to win it. The first being former Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson, who won the award back in 1997.

One of the most underrated candidates who is not on ESPN’s top five list is Kentucky running back Benny Snell. Kentucky has never had a good football program; their main athletic focus is basketball. When Snell started playing football at Kentucky, he quickly changed the format of the entire team. They’ve been winning, a lot, and it’s mostly because of Snell rushing the ball. Snell has turned Kentucky into one of the top teams in college football. This year Kentucky has not lost yet. They’ve won four straight games and they’re now a Top 25-ranked team. They’re ranked #17. So far this year, Snell has rushed for 540 yards and seven touchdowns. Snell is considered the dark horse in the Heisman rankings and if he keep rushing the ball good, he just might find himself at the top of the leaderboard when it comes to Heisman candidates.