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Heisman Watch: Week 4

Story posted September 24, 2022 in

The most prestigious fraternity in all of college football, the Heisman Trophy, has been the home to many elite NFL players: Joe Burrow, Derrick Henry, Lamar Jackson and many more.

With Alabama’s Bryce Young hoisting the Trophy last season, many high-profile candidates look to dethrone the Crimson Tide quarterback. Here are contenders who look to ink their name in college football history:

The Favorites

C.J. Stroud – Ohio State, QB

The favorite to take home the Heisman Trophy, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud has put on a showcase in the first three games of his Junior season. Leading the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes to a potential National Championship run, Stroud has played like the best quarterback in the country as he leads the nation in passing touchdowns with 11, and interceptions with zero.

As the Buckeyes average nearly 50 points per game, Stroud has thrown more than 220 yards in all three matchups this season. Many projected Stroud to be the first quarterback off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft. As a Heisman Trophy finalist last season, Stroud is primed to take home College Football’s most pristine award.

Bryce Young – Alabama, QB

Looking to become the second Heisman Trophy winner to take it home in back-to-back seasons (Archie Griffin, Ohio State 1974-1975), Bryce Young looks to stay on top of the college football world. Taking command of the No. 2 team in the nation, the Alabama Crimson Tide, Young has been playing lights-out football. As Alabama keeps winning, Young keeps getting better each and every game.

Finishing the 2021 season one win short of a National Championship, Young and the Crimson Tide are looking to get back to where they belong. In three matchups, Young has been averaging 215 passing yards per game along with three touchdowns. If there’s anyone in college football that can rewrite history, it’s none other than Bryce Young.

Caleb Williams – USC, QB

In one of the most high-powered offenses in college football, Caleb Williams is looking to lead the USC Trojans back to glory. When head coach Lincoln Riley took over the program at USC after leaving Oklahoma, he made it known that his five-star sophomore quarterback was coming to Southern California with him. After also acquiring top-tier transfers from the portal, USC has established a roster to compete with the top-ranked teams for years to come.

Williams, only a sophomore, has picked up where he left off last season with the Sooners. Scoring no less than 41 points per game this season, Williams has been the focal point of the No. 7 team in the nation. Averaging nearly 300 passing yards a game, the USC offense wreaks havoc for opposing defenses and should continue to improve as the season goes on. If Williams stays on his dominant offensive flight, he should be bringing the Heisman Trophy, and even a National Championship, back to Los Angeles.

Stetson Bennett – Georgia, QB

After taking home the National Championship last season, many thought Stetson Bennett and the Georgia Bulldogs would have a “Championship Hangover” in 2022. But Head Coach Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs have still been playing like a National Championship team early into the season.

In Bennett's senior campaign, the Blackshear, Georgia product has certainly done the most to raise his draft stock. Slinging five touchdowns on 952 yards in three games, the Bulldogs are looking to make it back to the National Championship and potentially bring a Heisman Trophy with them.

Bijan Robinson – Texas, RB

Arguably the best running back in College Football, Bijan Robinson is looking to be the third non-quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy since 2010 (Derrick Henry, Alabama - ‘15, Devonta Smith, Alabama - ‘20). With an offense led by redshirt freshman Quinn Ewers, the Longhorns have made some noise early into the season.

In an all-time classic with No. 1 Alabama, Robinson added a touchdown in the low-scoring duel. Falling two points short of one of the largest upsets in college football history, this matchup showed a bright future from Ewers, Robinson and the Longhorns. Rushing for 311 yards on 51 attempts while scoring five touchdowns in three games, Robinson looks to take down the star-studded quarterbacks for the Heisman Trophy.

Dark Horses

Will Levis – Kentucky, QB

Entering the 2022 season, many believed Will Levis would be a top candidate for the Heisman Trophy. Leading the No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats through a tough SEC schedule, Levis has exceeded all expectations while filling the box score.

Averaging nearly 300 yards in the air and a pair of touchdowns per game, Levis and the Wildcats are on the road to proving they are an elite SEC team. The senior from Madison, CT. looks to wrap up his collegiate career with some hardware as he prepares for the NFL Draft.

Dillion Gabriel – Oklahoma, QB

With tons of turmoil surrounding the Oklahoma Sooners football program this offseason, newly-hired Head Coach Brent Venables has put his trust into UCF-transfer quarterback Dillion Gabriel. With fresh faces around the team, Gabriel has led the Sooners to three quiet blowout wins against Nebraska, Kent State and UTEP. The Junior from Mililani, Hawaii has commanded the offense while throwing for 759 yards with seven touchdowns.

After Head Coach Lincoln Riley and five-star quarterback Caleb Williams departed the Sooners program last offseason, many ruled Oklahoma out. As this season proves anything to the College Football world, Oklahoma is still here to stay with a Heisman contenting Quarterback.

Deep Sleeper

Chase Brown – Illinois, RB

When college football fans discuss the top players in the B1G, most people venture to Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, TreyVeyon Henderson, Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, Penn State’s Sean Clifford and other high-profile offensive players. With all the noise surrounding the top teams in the conference, one running back has stood tall and potentially etched his name as the best running back in the B1G: Illinois’ Chase Brown.

Let me introduce you to the London, Ontario native. Leading the nation in rushing yards with 496, Brown has stamped his name on the map as a potential candidate in the Heisman Trophy race. With an astonishing 75 attempts through three contests, Brown is the center point of the FIghting Illini offense. As B1G play continues, Chase Brown is certainly a name to keep an eye

 

Jasper Abrahams is a first-year studying communications. To contact him, email jasperabrahams@gmail.com.