An Early Look at the 2020 NCAA Heisman Candidates

by Mark Daloisio | March 25, 2020 |

Looking at Heisman history and more than likely we will be handing the trophy to a quarterback again in 2020.  Since the year 2000, only 3 running backs have won and the rest have been quarterbacks.  

(QB) Justin Fields (Ohio State)(+450)……….As much as the ACC may cost Trevor Lawrence a Heisman Trophy, the Big Ten may help Justin Field win one.  I could just tell you this one stat and be done, that is how impressive it is, but I won’t do that. 41 touchdown passes and just 3 interceptions last season.  That is incredible! He also ran the ball 137 times for 484 yards for 10 touchdowns. He really only ran the ball when he needed to. Just imagine if he added designed running plays into the gameplan.   He plays like a Senior but is just a Freshman and believe it or not is still learning the game and has room to improve. He threw for 3,273 yards last season completing 67% of his passes. In the rugged Big Ten, he may not match that 41:3 TD/Int ratio, but who would expect him to.  The Heisman in 2020 is really between him and Lawrence and it feels like both are going to lead their teams to the National Championship to win it. It is that close between those guys this year. The odds speak for themself with the next closest at +1000.

(QB) Trevor Lawrence (Clemson)(+475)……….What hurts Trevor is the conference he plays in.  He could once again run the table in the regular season, pummeling each opponent by 4 touchdowns like have been doing each season and capping it off with a comfortable win in the ACC Championship Game and the voters are just not impressed enough to take him or Clemson serious enough at that point.  In order for Lawrence to win the Heisman this season, he must go undefeated and win the National Championship, it is that simple. Write it down! He would end his career as a champion and also with just just one loss as well. If they win the championship the only player who could take it away from him would be his teammate Travis Etienne, but he would have to have an insane season outshining Trevor rushing for 2,000 yards while Trevor sort of took a back seat and passed only when needed and let Travis carry the offense.  One thing I know for sure, the Tigers have two great players on offense this season.

(QB) Spencer Rattler (Oklahoma)(+1000)……….Love this name for an Oklahoma Sooner quarterback.  If it were up to me I would give him the award just based on his name.  All kidding aside, for a kid who has thrown just 11 passes in his college career to even be considered for such an award has got to be something special, but I guess we are going to have to take somebody’s word on it because what do we know?  I don’t even think he has officially been named the starting quarterback yet, but that is a given. Here is what one press release said. The #1 duel-thread QB in 2019 national recruiting class. A natural passer with a quick release, Rattler was the first high school quarterback in the state of Arizona to exceed 11,000 yards in his career.   It sounds like he is the most hyped high school QB in a long time and I can hardly wait to see him play. With the long list of Sooner talented QB’swe have seen there is no reason to believe he won’t be the next.

(QB) Sam Ehlinger (Texas)(+1200)……….3,663 yards, completing 65%of his passes, 32 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions.   I think Sam has the talent & stats to certainly be considered for the Heisman Award, but seriously considered is another story, but it is not entirely his fault.  The Univerity of Texas has not stepped up its program to the level of Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State or LSU. Unless Sam has the kind of phenomenal season that just cannot be overlooked, Texas at least needs to make the final four and probably the Championship game in order to give him a realistic shot at winning the award.  Looking at the Texas schedule this season they play at LSU in the 2nd game of the season. That, in my opinion, would be a must-win and Sam must be the man to lead them to victory and that would just be the start of what needs to be done for him to win the Heisman this season.

(QB) Jamie Newman (Georgia)(+1400)………..I read that name and thought to myself, he plays for Wake Forest.  I guess I need to get caught up a little bit on what has happened in college football.  Jamie had some solid numbers last year at Wake throwing for 2,868 yards on 220 of 361 passing with 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.  He also ran the ball 180 times for 574 yards with 6 touchdowns. I think to myself if the did that with the Wake Forest offensive talent, what is he capable of doing with the Georgia talent around him?  Playing devil’s advocate, he will be moving from the weak ACC to the talented SEC where he is going to face a whole new level of defense. It will be interesting and fun to see how he adapts to the better conference.

(RB) Chuba Hubbard (Oklahoma State)(+1600)……….Chuba could have easily turned pro but decided to come about for another season of college ball.  He could have easily gone for the money after have the great season he had leading the nation with 328 carries & 2,094 yards while scoring 21 touchdowns.  He was also named the Big-12 offensive player of the year and a finalist for the 2019 Doak Walker Award that goes to college football’s top running back. Even though it is risky for him, I love and admire guys that leave it all on the table to return just to play football.  I am rooting for this guy to win. 

(RB) Travis Etienne (Clemson)(+1800)……….Travis shocked most people when he chose to stay at Clemson instead of turning pro in 2020.  He would have entered the draft coming off a great season and now is risking injury to come back. That tells me he is hungry and wants that national championship, so I expect him to bring his A-game this year.  I already mentioned teammate Trevor Lawrence above and Travis’s chances are going to depend on what type of game plan and run/pass percentage the Tigers choose to implement this season. Of course, the Clemson offense was so good last season that they threw the ball 407 times and Travis still ran the ball 207 times for 1,614 yards with a whopping 19 touchdowns.  He also caught 37 passes for 432 yards for 4 more TD’s giving him over 2000 total yards. If he was on a different team, one without Trevor Lawrence, his odds would be much better +1800.

A few others longshots:

(QB) Ian Book (Notre Dame)(+2000)

(QB) Kedon Slovis (USC)(+2500)

(QB) Kyle Trask (Florida)(+2500)

(QB) Mac Jones (Alabama)(+2500)

(QB) Sam Howell (North Carolina)(+2500)

My Pick:  (QB) Trevor Lawrence (Clemson)(+475)

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